“Early Dazzle, Then Tough Path for Governor” is the headline. The story, by Abby Goodnough, portrays Gov. Deval Patrick as becalmed, going nowhere because of his defeat on casino gambling and a general sense of malaise stemming from early missteps over his Cadillac and office drapes.
Patrick sounds as though he’s going to keep pushing casinos, and he criticizes House Speaker Sal DiMasi for killing his proposal. “We’re going to keep working on it until we get a Democratic [sic on the uppercase "D"; I do believe Patrick was referring to governance, not the party] process that’s functioning,” Patrick is quoted as saying. Well, now. If Patrick hasn’t learned that there is overwhelming consensus against casinos and the social ills they bring, then he’s learned very little. This doesn’t bode well for the rest of his term.
Discussion of the Times story has already begun at Blue Mass. Group. And though BMGers are generally pro-Patrick, the first few commenters seem to be relishing the governor’s troubles.
The Outraged Liberal today offers some sharp analysis, noting that the Boston Herald’s ongoing coverage of DiMasi’s predeliction for golfing with well-connected friends, backing state contracts for political allies and supporting more revenue-losing tax breaks for the film industry may prove more important than the Times’ one-day embarrassment of Patrick. The O.L. writes that “the net effect is a steady drip of stories no politician can relish.”
Jon Keller, whose otherwise fine blog still lacks permalinks, offers some withering thoughts on the realities now facing Patrick and on the Times’ reliance on Steve Crosby — chief of staff to what Keller calls the “Titanic”-like administration of Jane Swift — to make the best case for Patrick. Keller writes:
Patrick tells the Times: “I have a better idea this year about who to trust and who not to, and you better believe that’s helped.” Really? Of whom does he speak? The key cabinet member who’s being allowed to run wild with inside power-plays and other clumsy blundering that threatens to make hash of years of progress in a crucial policy area? The aides he’s becoming notorious for not listening to? Sal? Maybe Patrick can’t trust him, but he should have known that going in. The real question is: can he beat him at his game?
Overall, not a good media day for Patrick or DiMasi.