President Obama Calls Boston Public Radio, Says He’s Former Somerville Resident

The POTUS wanted to give Governor Deval Patrick the proper send-off as he prepares to end his eight-years as the leader of the Commonwealth.
President Barack Obama is greeted by Gov. Deval Patrick, as Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty and Rep. Jim McGovern watch upon his arrival at Worcester Regional Airport. / AP Photo

President Barack Obama is greeted by Gov. Deval Patrick, as Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty and Rep. Jim McGovern watch upon his arrival at Worcester Regional Airport. / AP Photo

President Barack Obama and Governor Deval Patrick are long-time friends. That’s why on Thursday, when Patrick took part in his final “Ask the Governor” segment on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio, Obama called in to give his well-wishes.

“Governor, this is Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville. I’ve been, I’ve got a few complaints about service in and around the neighborhood. But I’ve moved down south since that time,” Obama said at the start of the phone call, which left Patrick in shock.

“You’ve got to be kidding, Mr. President,” Patrick responded, after laughing at the surprise phone call. “Who is this impersonator? You’re very good.”

During the course of the conversation, Obama went on to commend Patrick on his eight years in office, and asked how the governor has kept Massachusetts “strong” and “moving in the right direction.”

Patrick chided Obama for how he says Massachusetts—he “knows how to spell it”—and then listened quietly as the president continued to give him praise.

“I just wanted to let my dear friend know how proud I am,” he said. “You got more people working in the last 25 years, balanced budget, students doing great in school, health care access never been better, clean energy jobs—Deval, you’ve done good, man.”

Obama said Patrick has “burnished” and “polished” Massachusetts during his two terms in the State House, and said he has gotten people involved, and made them believe in civic engagement.

“Deval, you done good, man,” he said at one point during the call.

Of course, Obama made sure to get in a couple pot-shots when talking about the state’s sports teams.

“I should mention also, by the way, the Red Sox have won a couple of times. The Patriots are looking OK this year, so that’s important. The Celtics is another story, but we’ll have a longer conversation about it,” Obama said.

The call came in during WGBH’s Boston Public Radio show, hosted by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan. Egan and Braude have been running a monthly segment called “Ask the Governor,” where listeners can call in and connect with Patrick, since 2007. The show first aired on WTKK, and then for the past two years has been featured on WGBH. Thursday marked Patrick’s final appearance.

To listen to the phone call, visit WGBH’s website.


Steve Annear Steve Annear, Digital Writer at Boston Magazine sannear@bostonmagazine.com


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