By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Deval Patrick’s big win

Perhaps the oddest aspect of Deval Patrick’s big win yesterday (click here and here) is that there seems to be almost nothing to say. This one was over weeks ago. He made it look easy, from the beginning of the campaign to the end, which is a sure sign that he was actually working like a Stakhanovite. It doesn’t even seem all that remarkable that he’s our first African-American governor, and just the second in post-Reconstruction America.

And yes, I accept the proposition that Patrick’s stands on the issues were not as hazy as his critics would have it. His Web site is loaded with position statements, which one day I might actually get around to reading. But it’s nevertheless true that he refused to be pinned down too precisely, which will stand him in good stead now that he has to deliver. His repeated assertion that he has “no plan to raise taxes” is a classic example of keeping your options open.

Whither Kerry Healey? She’s not better than her campaign, because it was her campaign. But she could become better than her campaign, and, despite her pathetic performance, she might have a future. I was struck by Jon Keller‘s assessment on Channel 38 last night: by all rights she ought to be finished. Yet the Republican Party is in such dire straits that she’s one of the few remaining figures who could pick up the pieces.

First, though, she might try apologizing for insulting the public’s intelligence for two months with one of the most negative, disingenuous campaigns in the history of the state.


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14 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Well, it WAS a disingenuous campaign. (Somehow, the SEIU is just citizen activism?)Pragmatism that will be practiced by Patrick would have been dishonesty if Healey broke the same promises to supporters. Double standards make people cynical, no matter who perpetrates them. No one wins in that case. Patrick is smart enough to know that after you have successfully closed the deal, you stop selling. I would submit that some of his supporters could learn a lesson from him in that regard.

  2. o-fish-l

    Congratulations to Deval Patrick and his supporters on their big victory last night. After being discouraged by Clinton’s 1992 victory, I was pleasantly surprised by the way he governed. I’m hoping for the same with Deval.Dan, I strongly disagree with your comments on Healey, “…one of the most negative, disingenuous campaigns in the history of the state.”Other than the “prisoners” showing up at private homes of Deval and some of his campaign people, a juvenile tactic that was immediately condemned by Healey, what else was negative and disingenuous?As for the story on Deval’s troubled brother-in-law, I have yet to see a shred of evidence linking it to Healey’s camp.As for the “soft on crime” angle and the “parking garage” TV ads, tough but factual. The ads were rather tame in comparison to what’s been out there nationally. I hope we haven’t set a standard where a black candidate’s views on crime and criminals is “veiled racism” and therefore off limits. Lastly, timing has a HUGE role in politics. In the 6th year of a Republican presidency and 16th year of Republican governorship when Dems were surging throughout the country, there was no hope that Healey could stem the tide in the bluest (or 2nd bluest) of the blue states. I’m not a huge Healey fan but to say that she has anything to apologize for is ridiculous.

  3. o-fish-l

    Forty-four years after Republican Ed Brooke became the first black elected to statewide office in Massachusetts, and almost 40 years after Republicans nominated him and the voters elected him to the U.S. Senate for the first of two terms, it is refreshing that the “progressive” Democrat party has finally seen fit to elect an African-American statewide. The Dems are only 44 years behind the times, but it is encouraging to see the “progressives” actually progressing. Congrats!

  4. Anonymous

    o-fish-l,Clearly you have your thumb on the pulse of the electorate. I don’t know where us I’d be without you. It’s so hard to find conservative talking points these days. And your grammer checking service is HILARIOUS.Dumbass.

  5. Anonymous

    I lean Libertarian and normally vote Republican in state elections, but I just couldn’t cast a ballot for Healey. She’s seems highly unlikeable – wooden and stiff and cold to the point of perhaps being just plain nasty. Of course, I couldn’t vote for a crazy lefty like Patrick either, and Mihos and that other lady were a joke, so I simply abstained from voting in the governor’s race. It was, without a doubt, the shittiest slate of candidates that I can remember ever having to choose [or not choose] from.

  6. Citizen Charles Foster Kane

    o-fish-l:So Massachusetts Republicans have gone from Edward Brooke to Jack E. Robinson. Now that’s progress!

  7. Anonymous

    Even with all the popular emphasis on diversity and inclusiveness, this much is true: White male candidates are simply allowed to be candidates, judged solely on their positions, behavior and speech. However, minority and women candidates are still viewed — by supporters and critics, alike — through a prism other than the content of their character. Sure, opportunity has increased in the last hundred years, but have attitudes changed?

  8. Anonymous

    anon1155,The worst offenses along that line were from 1) Aaron Margolis and Jeff Jacoby, both of whom accused Deval supporters of acting out of white guilt and 2) DR Tucker and the fine folks at WRKO who were the first to raise the issue of gender and sexuality. Oh, and o-fish-l, but he’ll say pretty much anything if he thinks it will piss “liberals” off.It makes me very sad about the state of the so-called libertarian movement in this state.

  9. o-fish-l

    Citizen Charles Foster Kane:No, I think it would probably be more like from Ed Brooke to Frank Cousins, the Essex County Sheriff who until Deval’s win was the highest ranking elected African American in the state and indeed a Republican. Of course I’m leaving out U.S. Attorney Wayne Budd, Suffolk D.A Ralph Martin and Suffolk Sheriff Andrea Cabral, all of whom were appointed by Republicans.anon 12:46I was hardly injecting race into the equation, just merely reacting to the “historic” nonsense being thrown around when after all, a black Republican was elected to an arguably higher office here almost a half century ago. Call it what you will but at least admit that it’s factual. anon 9:18The name calling is really effective. You should go to law school with those skills.

  10. Anonymous

    o-fish-l,Way to beat up those strawmen. You’re right, being the first black governor of this state and the second in the nation isn’t historic. Those liberals are just BIG BAD MEANIES for daring to call you on your racism.Maybe next time you should go with “why do liberals hate freedom?” It’s outdated, but perfect for that “I’m above actually engaging in a discussion” image you’ve so carefully been cultivating.

  11. Lisa

    Oh, man, Jack E. Robinson. Does anyone else remember him being interviewed on the radio…and then a BANG and a moment of silence and him saying, “I think I just got in an accident.” Guy was giving an interview on his cell phone while driving. Dumb stunt. Good thing no one was hurt.

  12. CCFK

    It is interesting that o-fish-l apparently measures being “progressive” by the color of one’s skin, not the content of one’s ideas. I see tokenism is alive and well in the modern conservative.

  13. Anonymous

    If one more cretin mentions “strawmen” I’m going to puke…

  14. Anonymous

    Anon1052,I believe straw-man is the correct term for o-fish-l and the WRKO boy’s favorite discussion technique: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_manA straw man argument is a logical fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “set up a straw-man” or “set up a straw-man argument” is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent. A straw-man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it is in fact misleading, because the opponent’s actual argument has not been refuted.However, as the terms straw-man and straw-man argument offend you, we’ll have to come up with a different term. Since the technique is so closely associated with o-fish-l, how about duplicitous dumbass argument instead?

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