2006 Gubernatorial News
Kerry urges Democrats to oust Romney
Last year, Romney stumped for President George W. Bush and ripped Kerry when Kerry was the Democratic candidate for president. Romney accused Kerry of waffling on the war in Iraq and for voting for tax hikes nearly 100 times.
At the GOP National Convention, Massachusetts Republicans mocked Kerry with T-shirts that said "John Who?" in reference to Kerry's extended absence from the state during his campaign.
Kerry may be preparing for a little payback.
Taking up Massachusetts politics for the first time since he lost to Bush on Nov. 2, Kerry sent an e-mail to thousands of supporters, urging them to work at the grassroots for the state party.
and, Deval Patrick is getting more notice
Consider, too, that with former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich ruling out a repeat of his 2002 insurgent candidacy earlier this week, the idealistic progressives who flocked to Reich may begin searching for another candidate to back. If and when they do, Patrick could be a natural fit. For starters, he’s anti-death-penalty and pro-gay-marriage. (Patrick served in the Clinton administration when the federal Defense of Marriage Act was passed, in 1996, but prominent gay activists say he was phased out of the debate after making his opposition clear; today, Patrick calls the DOMA a "mistake.") In contrast, Reilly — like Romney — favors the death penalty. And, after gay marriage became legal last year, the attorney general alienated the gay community by using an obscure state law to prevent same-sex couples from outside Massachusetts from wedding here.
Furthermore, Patrick successfully argued for Clinton’s support of affirmative action when the president considered jettisoning it in 1996. Factor in the subtler details of his personal history that have yet to emerge — Patrick’s father abandoning his family to play the saxophone with Thelonius Monk and Sun Ra; Patrick being told to bring a "jacket" to Milton Academy and showing up with a windbreaker instead; Patrick filling out his Harvard Law School application in the Sudanese desert while working for the United Nations; Patrick suing then-governor Bill Clinton as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Patrick joining Hill & Barlow, the former law firm of governors Mike Dukakis and Bill Weld, as partner at the age of 30; Patrick leading the Justice Department’s inquiry into the rash of arson in black Southern churches in the mid 1990s; Patrick chairing former attorney general Scott Harshbarger’s good-government gubernatorial campaign in 1998 — and he could easily become a darling of progressive voters. This, in turn, could make him a genuine threat to Reilly in the Democratic primary — and his personal wealth (during Patrick’s years as a corporate general counsel, his annual earnings approached $1 million) and ready-made nationwide fundraising network could help him neutralize Reilly’s early financial advantage.
but, he's not with liabilities
PATRICK’S MEDIA appearances last week had something of a not-ready-for-prime-time feel. Take his appearance on Greater Boston. Confronted with the one question he should have known was coming — why are you thinking about running for governor? — Patrick declared his "very deep, soft feeling" for Massachusetts. By the time of his WBUR interview, Patrick had (wisely) jettisoned this vaguely creepy explanation; instead, he spoke of his abiding "soft spot" for the state. It was an improvement, but it still gave an indulgent, wishy-washy cast to Patrick’s hypothetical candidacy.