A Patrick run lands locally with a thud

We have developed a reputation for oozing warmth and encouragement for Massachusetts candidates that is second only to our good manners on the road, so let’s go straight to the local hot takes on the latest potential favorite-son presidential hopeful from the Commonwealth. 

“Imagine looking upon this very strong field of candidates and seeing a hole in the lineup that is exactly your size and shape,” says one area chronicler with more than a touch of sarcasm.  

“I spent much of Tuesday talking to former aides and longtime fans of Patrick. They all love him. No one came forward to endorse his latest venture,” writes another columnist.  Should he jump in, “I think he will be making a huge mistake.”

But what about the highlights of Deval Patrick’s two full terms as our governor and his work after leaving office?

“The drapes, the Cadillac, the finances, the pricey junkets and the decision to work for Democratic evildoers Bain Capital are all part of his record and up for grabs,” another local scribe helpfully reminds us. “And it’s unclear whether Patrick, who is notoriously thin-skinned, has the stomach to handle that kind of close examination.” 

A prickly, egomaniacal pol with a checkered record. Where do idealistic young campaign volunteers sign up? 

And all of this comes before we’ve even heard from Howie Carr, who pronounces the former governor a “delusional” pol who has “always been a legend in his mind.” 

We’re a long way from the days when the Globe’s Bob Healey worked out with the Kennedy White House how to play the paper’s story reporting that Ted — making his 1962 run for JFK’s former Senate seat — had been booted out of Harvard for cheating. 

But are local pundits overcompensating for a time when pols might have expected a little home field advantage? 

Patrick does find a little bit of local love — or at least something short of outright dismissal. 

Globe columnist Scot Lehigh thinks Elizabeth Warren’s “lurch to port” — highlighted by her all-in embrace of Medicare for All — has created a “center-left opening — one Deval Patrick, despite his late start, could plausibly fill.” He reminds all of Patrick’s “mesmerizing” talents as a “better-than-Obama speaker.” And he acknowledges, but dismisses the significance of, Patrick’s management shortcomings. If such things mattered, Lehigh writes, “the nation wouldn’t have elected Donald ‘six bankruptcies’ Trump.”

Meanwhile, Herald op-ed contributor Joyce Ferriabough Bolling says she’d welcome Patrick and Mike Bloomberg to the race. (Lehigh pans the idea of a Bloomberg run.) 

Strip away the snarky jabs of skeptical opinion writers and there is still plenty of ground for doubt about word that Patrick is considering a late-entry dive into the Democratic presidential contest. 

As the Globe’s Matt Stout and Victoria McGrane report, Patrick faces a number of daunting practical hurdles, including starting from zero on the two main elements of a national campaign, money and organization. “He’s a very decent human being. I just don’t know how the hell he raises $25 million in the next 100 days while putting an organization together,” former Democratic National Committee chairman and 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean tells them. 

It’s “kind of late in the day,” says former state Democratic Party chairman Phil Johnston.

That it is. 

In late 2014, as he prepared to leave office, Patrick told CommonWealth’s Jack Sullivan he had “zero plans” to run for president. Then, in the classic mode of every practiced pol, he left the door open a crack. “The future is the future,” said the governor-philospher. 

With a Friday deadline to file for the New Hampshire primary, the future is this week.

MICHAEL JONAS


BEACON HILL

Eight people familiar with the workings of Beacon Hill say House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s “liar” dismissal of ex-rep Jay Kaufman’s claims about the speaker’s my-way-or-the-highway leadership style is laughable. (CommonWealth)

The Cannabis Control Commission continued the state’s ban on  marijuana vaping products, except those that vaporize flower for medical patients. (State House News)

The mother of Conrad Roy, the teen who died in the Michelle Carter texting suicide case, advocates for a bill criminalizing coercion. (MassLive)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

The two combatants in the Pittsfield mayor’s race clash again, this time over setting the city’s tax rate. Mayor Linda Tyer pushed for a higher rate while City Councilor Melissa Mazzeo backed a lower one. Tyer prevailed in last week’s election by 529 votes. (Berkshire Eagle)

Eviction filings are much more prevalent in low-income majority non-white neighborhoods of Boston, such as Roxbury, than they are in affluent white areas such as Beacon Hill, according to a new study. (WBUR) 

Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell says more pedestrian safety measures are needed after a 7-year-old boy was hit by a car on a residential street in Mattapan. (Boston Herald)

Promotional stickers from white nationalist group Patriot Front have been placed on street signs and utility poles in Middleboro and West Bridgewater in the last week. (The Enterprise) 

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

For only the fourth time in US history, formal impeachment hearings will begin today in Washington as the House probes President Trump’s dealings with the Ukrainian president and related issues. (Washington Post)

Local Dreamers make their case as the US Supreme Court gives little indication they will extend the program. (CommonWealth) The court’s majority bloc of five conservative justices seemed sympathetic during yesterday’s oral arguments to the Trump administration move to end DACA. (Boston Globe

ELECTIONS

Money talked, most of the time, in last week’s mayoral elections. Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo spent $329,583 to defeat his challenger, Daniel Rizzo, who spent $189,663. For those counting, Arrigo spent $57 for each vote he received. (CommonWealth)

A MassINC report finds a lack of diversity among political leaders at the state and local level, and suggests one solution may be revamping the election system. (CommonWealth)

The Massachusetts Republican Party is moving its headquarters from Boston to Woburn to save money. (State House News)

Tom Friedman declares, “I like Mike,” but where’s the nod to the Globe’s Larry Edelman, who trotted out the line five days ago about the would-be candidacy of Michael Bloomberg. (New York Times

EDUCATION

Newton teachers are tired of “protracted negotiations” with the district and are starting to talk about possibly striking, according to Michael Zilles, the union president. (WGBH) 

TRANSPORTATION 

The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce joins many of the state’s other business groups in pushing for a hike in the gas tax, statewide tolling, and an increase in rideshare fees. The chamber has one interesting ask: a three-year pilot for a fare-free Worcester Regional Transit Authority, which provides bus service in Worcester. (Telegram & Gazette)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

The controversial Weymouth natural gas pipeline compressor station has obtained a coastal development permit from the state, which many saw as the last chance for opponents to block the project. (WBUR) The fight will go on in the courts. (State House News)

Associated Industries of Massachusetts, which strongly opposed the Cape Wind project, is singing a very different tune about Vineyard Wind, citing the much lower energy costs of its competitively bid contracts. (Boston Globe)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

A judge finds David Njuguna guilty of involuntary manslaughter in a fatal crash that killed State Police trooper Thomas Clardy on the Massachusetts Turnpike. The judge dismissed additional charges, saying the prosecution had failed to prove Njuguna was operating his vehicle under the influence of marijuana. (Telegram & Gazette)

The Supreme Judicial Court’s decision to reduce the murder sentence of a man with abnormal brain functioning has upset the family of Keith Koster, who was killed in Danvers in 2006. (Gloucester Daily Times

A jury hears arguments for a third man on trial for the death of Robert McKenna, a 45-year-old retired stockbroker found dead in a pool of blood in his kitchen in September 2015 after what prosecutors have described as a burglary gone wrong. (Patriot Ledger) 

The attorney for Adrian Loya, the man found guilty in a 2015 shooting rampage that killed a Coast Guard petty officer and wounded two others, is arguing for that conviction to be overturned. (Cape Cod Times)

MEDIA

For the first time in its 131-year history, the Financial Times, based in London, will have a woman editor. (New York Times)