Hack in Action

Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray is exactly the kind of politician Deval Patrick railed against four years ago. He’s also the reason Patrick may win again in November.

Some of this cash may be left in the bank after November, at which point it could be used to finance higher aspirations. Murray has raised more than $3 million since taking office, stratospheric receipts for a lieutenant governor. On a single day in July, which happened to mark the eve of a bill-signing orgy that ushered in major policy changes, Murray banked more than $38,000.

No one has ever run for lieutenant governor regarding it as a final destination. Murray is neither flagrant nor shy about his electoral ambitions. He is considering running for the U.S. Senate in 2012 but more likely he’ll run for the governor’s seat in 2014 — assuming, of course, that his current boss wins this November.

It’s actually the race after this year’s that will prove the toughest for him. If Murray is to advance, to whichever office, in whichever year, it will not be on charisma or outsize personality but doggedness, running a campaign oiled by the thousands of favors turned and phone calls returned. That’s the kind of campaign politicians used to run, and perhaps the only kind Murray can. He’ll somehow need to convey to voters that an insider can sometimes be more than a cynical bureaucrat, that a professional politician can be (gasp) good for politics — a lesson even Deval Patrick has come to appreciate.