Deval Patrick: Above the Fold

1192721775Our governor got front-page treatment in the New York Times today, above the fold, in a piece which lays out his missteps (the drapes, the Caddy, the Casinos), speaks of his fight with the Speaker, one Salvatore DiMasi (Salvatore?), and makes the usual allusion to Barack Obama that gifted speakers make for lackluster executives.

Ignoring the last point (Joe Keohane makes the far more interesting parallel to Obama and Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker), the Times piece is enlightening insofar as Patrick still seems numb to the political realities in Massachusetts.

Patrick complains that people are still focused on the purchase of drapes for his office and the upgrade from the Ford Vic to the Cadillac.

“Come on. People around here act like the only thing that happened last year was picking these drapes and buying a car. There’s a whole lot more.”

One more time: When you run a populist campaign heavy on symbolism and rhetoric, and the first few days of your administration are consumed by expensive, and unnecessary, luxuries it’s going to hurt your credibility. But, no one else has been bringing those up lately. It’s Patrick who insists on returning to that theme, and the more he brings it up, the more it will define him.

The issue for today is not drapes, Caddys or choppers. It’s not even casinos. Not really. It’s that Salvatore DiMasi, once again, boxed out the governor on a major policy initiative and Patrick would like us to believe that it’s all somehow nefarious.

It’s not. It’s politics and DiMasi is better at it than he is.


Dan Kennedy’s anlaysis.

Jon Keller notes out-of-town newspapers reliance on UMass/Boston prof Steve Crosby as a source, without mentioning Crosby’s time as Chief of Staff for Jane Swift.