Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Charlotte: Deval Patrick weighs in

MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Deval Patrick, who knows Mitt Romney better than you or I do, offered one of the two early barnburner speeches, pulling no punches in breaking down what Massachusetts was really like when Romney was governor.

“Mitt Romney talks an awful lot about the things he’s fixed,” Patrick said. “I can tell you, Massachusetts was not one of them. ... as governor, he was a lot more interested in having the job than doing the job.”

Like other speakers at this confab and the Republican convention in Tampa, Patrick embraced the history lesson, but had the good sense to make it a short one. He offered a factoid that first made the rounds in the primary season: that, while Romney was governor, Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation, and household income was in a serious decline.

“Today, Massachusetts leads the nation in ... health-care coverage, life sciences and biotech, energy efficiency and veterans’ services … and today in Massachusetts, you can marry whomever you love.”

The electricity that accompanied Patrick’s arrival on stage, and especially the full-throated riot of applause he got when he left, make it easy to get why Deval Patrick will be heard from as more than just a political figure in the Commonwealth. You don’t have to squint to be able to envision him contesting for the big chair in 2016 or 2020.

Even as he stints now for the president (a close friend), Patrick brings the rhetorical fire and political vision he’d need for a White House run of his own. He’s on the bench right now, but he’s clearly got the goods to get in the game. He definitely put one in the right-field bleachers tonight.

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