Time Flies

1194463101It’s the first anniversary of Gov. Deval Patrick’s election and he and his staffers are going to celebrate. Boston Daily’s eyes got a little damp thinking about all the hope that day brought to the Commonwealth, so we decided to take a look back over the first year in the life of our governor. We’d put it on some nice first anniversary-worthy paper for him, but this is the Internet. That’s not how we roll.

Remember how excited we were when Patrick won the election in a landslide?

Gushed Denyse Bardouille, who works for the state and is black: “I am overjoyed, overwhelmed, overcome by this man’s integrity, this man’s class and this man’s honesty. How can you not like this man? He’s every mother’s son.”

And how the huge minority turnout at the polls meant a new era for state politics?

Latifa Ziyad, 34, of Dorchester, brought her daughters, niece and nephew to witness the event.

“It gives people a reason to check into the process again,” said Ziyad, who believes many people of color have felt disenfranchised.

Except that trend didn’t really stick if this year’s dismal turnout is any indication. But that hope sure was nice while it lasted.

As the last days of Mitt Romney’s governorship dwindled away, Patrick maintained the politics of hope and inclusiveness by planning an outdoor inauguration, bypassing the traditional indoor ceremony. In the process, he began his habit of alienating the Legislature.

Neither [former Senate President Robert] Travaglini nor [House Speaker Sal] DiMasi would comment on Patrick’s plan, but some legislators privately scoffed at the idea. “It’s freezing cold out there,” said one state senator. “No one will show up.”

But it was a warm day when Patrick was sworn in as the 71st governor, proving his critics wrong. But they soon had more to complain about. Like any other person with a new job, he started enjoying the perks of the job. Perhaps a little too much.

Governor Deval Patrick spent more than $10,000 on damask drapes for his State House office as part of a $27,387 makeover that also included a new desk, settee, and other furnishings paid for with taxpayer money.

And we can’t forget his flashy Cadillac. Then there was the issue with the helicopter. And that time he called Citigroup on behalf of Ameriquest Mortgage, whose board he used to sit on.

But the real excitement came when Patrick, after delaying the decision several times, said he wanted as many as three casinos to come to Massachusetts. The furor over the governor’s decision was immediate and hasn’t stopped. As we move into the second year of the Patrick administration, we are thankful that the Republican vision of a rubber-stamp Legislature didn’t come true. Not only because casinos aren’t the great idea he thinks they are, but because they make for great political theater.

Thanks for giving us so much to work with in Year One!