Deval's Dinner At the White House Must Mean Something!

A look at the prevailing theories.

News that Deval and Diane Patrick are headed to the White House this evening for dinner with Barack and Michelle has sent the world of political gossip into a tizzy. All parties involved, of course, would suggest that this is a deeply uninteresting event. Gov. Patrick and Obama are famed friends, and after months of campaigning together, perhaps they want to kick back. Reporters say the evening is being described as a “social dinner.” So let’s just leave it there, everyone. Mystery solved. Nothing to see here. Ha ha, just kidding, that’s incredibly boring. This dinner must mean something!

The prevailing options are these:

Patrick is often suggested as a potential attorney general appointee or Supreme Court nominee. As there isn’t a current vacancy on the Court that we know of, and as there are a whole lot of vacancies in Obama’s incoming cabinet, this seems like the perfect setting to discuss whether Patrick should get his lawyer on for the next four years. Patrick, of course, continually avows that he’ll finish serving his term as governor until 2015, but no one ever says they’d consider leaving their job until they actually announce that they are leaving their job. (Unless you are the blusteringly honest Chris Christie.) Who is backing this theory? Well a Globe report about the dinner just mentions casually near the bottom that Patrick is considered a potential cabinet appointment, leaving you to infer the rest. But look no further than Politico, ever your source of beltway gossip, and in this case Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn, who makes it explicit on Twitter:

Next theory: Saying that John Kerry wants to be Secretary of State is “the worst kept secret in Washington” is a grave abuse of the word “secret.” To hear Washington insiders discuss this piece of hardened conventional wisdom, you’d think that John Kerry wakes up each morning and windsurfs to a private island where he’s constructed an exact replica of the State Department from which he can take fake calls from fake Dalai Lamas. The point is, John Kerry might get appointed Secretary of State. The problem, of course, is that if Obama gives Kerry his most fervent wish, he’d leave an opening in the Senate. (More on that here.) That’s less of a problem given the Democratic gains in the upper chamber on Tuesday, but with the lack of an obvious replacement (except Scott Brown) it’s still knotty. And it would fall to Patrick to appoint a temporary successor. This, too, would be another great topic of conversation for a “social dinner.” Who is spreading this rumor? That’d be Laura Rozen of Al-Monitor:

Well it could be, but it’s much more fun to assume otherwise.