Deval Patrick, living la vida loca

The whispering surrounding a future Deval Patrick campaign for president got full voice when Slate’s Reihan Salam recently put the former governor on a short list of alternatives to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Yet there are at least 7,500 reasons why Patrick won’t make a run for the White House in 2016, and perhaps has damaged his brand for several presidential cycles to come. Jetting around world capitals on behalf of Boston 2024 is not the same as sitting down for a “Politics and Eggs” breakfast in Manchester (New Hampshire, that is).

Patrick’s $7,500 in daily travel expenses as the global emissary for Boston’s Summer Olympics bid might not raise eyebrows among the globe-trotting corporate set. But his new job has gotten mixed reviews at best in places like western Massachusetts where he is revered. “It’s not really my business how much money he makes or how he makes the money,” one man told the Springfield’s CBS3. “I think as long as he’s doing what’s best for the commonwealth, I can’t disagree with him.”

At worst, the move may have tarnished Patrick’s liberal bona fides in an Elizabeth Warren world. Springfield Republican columnist Ron Chimelis opined, “As for disappointed liberals, they should have known before this that their heroes were every bit as money-hungry and self-absorbed as those right-wing business tycoons and politicians they abhor.”

A Monson resident expressed his views this way in a Springfield Republican letter to the editor. “Now, being the capitalist that I am, I think it’s great that he can command such a fine salary. My problem is that he has held himself out as one who backs a different ideology.”

Patrick’s new job contrasts unfavorably, too, with the nearly $1 billion mid-year deficit his administration left behind for Gov. Charlie Baker. Then there’s the legacy of a certain Boston public works project. Accepting a job with a private nonprofit that has Patrick’s own former lieutenant governor, among others, invoking the “Big Dig” is the kind of development that would have Republican opposition researchers salivating.

There’s likely little appetite among national Democrats for another Massachusetts liberal of the Patrick variety. In the past several decades, the Bay State has produced three failed presidential candidates — Michael Dukakis, John Kerry, and Mitt Romney. Patrick is also a BFF of President Barack Obama, which won’t endear him to Democrats who are running away as fast as they can from 44.

However, Patrick is taking at least one page out of the Romney presidential playbook. Romney’s Olympics experience helped raise his profile. Travelling around world capitals would give Patrick invaluable international exposure for a corporate position or another public sector opportunity.

But like Mitt Romney and “47 percent,” Deval Patrick will find that having his name and “$7,500 a day” in the same sentence is probably not the strongest foundation for a presidential bid.

–GABRIELLE GURLEY

 

BEACON HILL

The understaffing of the state medical examiner’s office means fewer autopsies are being conducted and more cases are closed in which the cause of death is not certain.

Newly-installed attorney general Maura Healey is quickly making a mark on Beacon Hill, fueling the talk that she’s already gunning for higher office. But maybe she’s just doing her job, says Joan Vennochi.

Lawmakers have filed legislation aimed at giving bicyclists more protection while sharing the road with cars and trucks.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Weymouth town councilors asked Mayor Sue Kay to increase her proposed Proposition 2½ debt exclusion override to include a permanent tax hike.

New Fall River Mayor Sam Sutter plans to present a detailed report on the city’s shaky finances that shows the budget reserves are a fraction of what they should be and the staffing level throughout the city is “unsustainable.”

The Cape Cod Times finds that towns are getting better about releasing minutes to closed door sessions.

MARATHON BOMBING TRIAL

Testimony in the Marathon bombing trial turned to the Watertown shootout where Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev eventually captured.

CASINOS

Developers of a proposed casino in Somerset have asked the state Gaming Commission for an extension to file an application for the final casino license, which was due on Monday. The commission has already extended the deadline twice.

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Israelis vote today, with polls showing support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slipping in recent weeks. But, because of Israel’s complicated election math, the winner may not be known for weeks.

Nearly all of the GOP presidential contenders say they would pull out of a deal with Iran that didn’t have congressional approval.

House Republicans unveil their budget plan that partially privatizes Medicare, makes Medicaid a block grant to states, repeals Obamacare, and aims for a balanced budget in 10 years. In other words, business as usual.

Barney Frank’s memoir, Frank, is mostly but not entirely that, writes Julia Klein in a review in the Globe.

ELECTIONS

The state has denied a request by a Saugus political action committee to monitor today’s recall elections of four selectmen.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Some of the nation’s bigger banks are grousing that the Apple Pay app is not all it was cracked up to be, with a fraud rate of about 6 percent compared to a fraction of a percent with regular credit cards.

An analysis of state pensions by Governing magazine shows a new accounting rule will dramatically alter some plans’ liabilities and force some state officials to ramp up their funding to meet obligations.

EDUCATION

Gordon College’s Board of Trustees has voted to retain the school’s policy banning any “homosexual practice” by students, staff, and faculty.

The Brockton School Committee will hold a hearing on charges by students that minorities in the state’s largest high school are disciplined more frequently and more harshly than their white classmates.

HEALTH CARE

Partners HealthCare, rebuffed in its attempt to acquire South Shore Hospital, is taking a go-slow approach to the idea of moving ahead with any attempt at acquiring Hallmark Health System hospitals in Melrose and Medford, new CEO David Torchiana tells the Globe’s Steven Syre.

Meanwhile, globally-focused, but Boston-based, Partners in Health says it plans to expand its work in West Africa despite the danger Ebola virus poses to health workers there.

TRANSPORTATION

The Pioneer Institute keeps up its assault on the MBTA with its latest report, “The Myth of the Underfunded MBTA.”

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants delivers an impassioned call to end mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses — a position met with an equally impassioned defense of the sentencing structure from Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley.

The director of a new Washington-based coalition pushing for criminal justice reform tells CommonWealth why the ACLU and the Koch brothers are both part of the effort.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance video and awaiting toxicology reports to determine how a Quincy man died while in police custody over the weekend.

Some jurisdictions around the country are turning to inquests rather than grand juries to investigate the use of deadly force by police officers. In a story on officer-involved shootings last year, CommonWealth quoted experts last year who say that is a fairer and more open process to probe the increasingly controversial incidents.