One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

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1192721775We had high hopes for Gov. Deval Patrick. Not in terms of developing grand public policies that would benefit the Commonwealth, mind you. We’re not rubes here at Boston Daily. We don’t trust our elected officials any more than you do. No, we had high hopes that he’d become a skilled pol. And it looked like he was on his way to doing just that.

Consider, over the last few weeks, he’s gotten into dustups with the speaker and the state treasurer. He’s cited numbers to support his casino push that have been roundly criticized, but has refused to back down. He’s made a grab for power that makes other politicians look like pansies. And he’s already contradicted himself, in near record time, on at least one of his ideas. Those are the marks of the hardened pol.

Or so we thought. Just when it looks as though Gov. Patrick is making strides, he regresses.

It seems the governor has decided to endorse Illinois Senator Barack Obama for president. Anyone who watched last year’s gubernatorial race knows that Patrick had two major, crowd-pleasing supporters in his camp. One was the senator from Illinois, the other was former President Bill Clinton. Patrick, as you well know, started his rise through public life in the early 1990s as the Clinton administration’s top civil rights lawyer. On the flip side, Obama and Patrick are BFFs. Which is sweet.

Now, in case you haven’t checked the latest polling numbers, Clinton’s wife, Hillary, is beating the crap out of Obama. But pish-posh. That didn’t stop Patrick from backing his buddy. Who needs a winner when you’ve got friendship, right?

The endorsement comes after months of quiet deliberation by Patrick, who has been torn between Obama and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Both presidential campaigns made a bid for his support, and Patrick called Clinton and Obama yesterday to inform them of his decision, according to aides.

We’re betting Bill Clinton thought the governor’s call was a hoot. Wait, you want to endorse who? Hillary, come quick, you gotta hear this.

Meanwhile, other local politicians have taken the more savvy approach to this endorsement business by going with the time-honored strategy of backing the front runner. Mayor Tom Menino, Speaker Sal DiMasi, and Senate President Therese Murray have all endorsed Hillary Clinton. To which we here at Boston Daily say: Duh. Clinton is up by 30 points over Obama. It doesn’t take Karl Rove to figure out who to get behind here.

But you may still be wondering what happens if Obama makes a run and defeats Clinton. For the sake of argument, we’ll entertain the idea. Because the solution is simple. If the improbable happens, the three local opportunists will simply take another page from the political handbook and switch allegiances to Obama. They’ll say they wanted him all along, and blah, blah, blah, and that will be that. Remember, Menino supported Tom Reilly in last year’s gubernatorial race, then held hands with Patrick when he (finally) realized that Reilly was going to get beaten like the donkey he is.

That’s how these things work. Point is, you back the guy (or gal, in this case) who you think has the best chance of claiming victory. The rest—what someone may have done for you and whether or not you’re pals—is useless bullshit, and to be ignored. As Mitt Romney has repeatedly taught us, there’s no place for loyalty in this game.

One last thing: If you haven’t heard, Obama is politically toxic. Why? Because, and we swear this is true, the man is a distant relative of Vice President Dick Cheney. They share the same blood. Which is why we recommend that Patrick rethink this endorsement.

At this point, it’s only a matter of time before Obama shoots someone in the face with a shotgun.

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2007/10/18/one-step-forward-two-steps-back/