What Will Barack Obama Borrow From Deval Patrick's Speeches?

Photo illustration by John Ueland.

When President Obama spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus in September 2010, he urged them to “guard the change” created by his election. To Massachusetts voters, it was a familiar refrain: Three months earlier, Governor Patrick, then seeking a second term, had issued a similar call to state Democratic Party delegates: “We worked hard four years ago to change the guard. Now it’s up to all of us to guard the change.” That Patrick’s prose was so easily borrowed by the president made sense. They share Chicago roots, have common advisers, and are friends. Now that Patrick has been appointed as cochair of Obama’s reelection campaign, you’ll likely hear more of his words on the trail. Here are a few more Patrick gems that Obama might consider cribbing. — Gintautas Dumcius

Patrick’s Words: “What the country needs is not the politics of convenience and cleverness; it’s the politics of conviction.”
Why They’d Work for Obama: The quote could effectively discredit Mitt Romney’s attempts to soften his tone from the primaries.

Patrick’s Words: “I challenge us all to turn to each other, not on each other.”
Why They’d Work for Obama: The president has worked hard, with mixed results, to cast himself as a champion of civil discourse who’s above the Washington fray.

Patrick’s Words: “Stop blithely accepting that better economic indicators or better pollsters will determine who will win the presidency. Politics is not like the weather — we don’t have to wait for someone else to tell us whether it will rain or shine. In politics, we can shape our own future.”
Why They’d Work for Obama: This call to action could play to Obama’s sometimes-dispirited liberal base, particularly if the economy continues to sag.

Patrick’s Words: “Willing to say or do anything to win power, they have abandoned any sense of shared responsibility for our future — and put division itself at the top of their party’s political agenda.”
Why They’d Work for Obama: As he builds his campaign around running against Congress and the House Republicans, Obama could use something like this to defend his record.

Patrick’s Words: “One of the best things [Romney] did was to be the coauthor of [Massachusetts] healthcare reform, which has been a model for national healthcare reform.”
Why They’d Work for Obama: By reminding voters that Romneycare gave birth to Obamacare, this Patrick zinger would make it difficult for Romney to criticize Obama’s signature first-term achievement.

  • Sheila MacArthur

    I am surprised at your lack of due diligence on this topic. The fact is, Deval Patrick originally took the language from Barack Obama’s senatorial campaigns.