The Globe reports that news of Deval Patrick’s interest in running for Governor of Massachusetts has caught the eye of the national Democratic party insider types, including Bill Clinton himself. This was to be expected, I suppose. After all, Patrick has impressive Clinton-era credentials and, if he decides to run, is likely to generate far more national interest in this race than we’d otherwise have. And the DNC would, no doubt, dearly love to see undeclared presidential wannabe Mitt Romney turned out of office in 2006.
One DNC insider, Donna Brazile, is mentioned by name in the Globe article as someone who has offered to help. And let us reflect for a moment on Brazile’s latest accomplishments: she ran Al Gore’s terribly weak campaign in the eminently winnable 2000 election, and then got outflanked at every turn in the Florida recount. And I hardly need to outline all of the numerous respects in which the RNC ran rings around the DNC in the 2004 election — others have already done that. (See also our related posts here and here.)
Now, I’m not totally naive about these things. I understand that the DNC insiders have access to, among other things, big donors, and Patrick has a lot of fundraising ground to make up if he’s going to take on Tom Reilly (and maybe Bill Galvin) in the primaries, and Mitt Romney in the general election. But here’s some unsolicited advice for Mr. Patrick: don’t listen to them. They don’t know much about Massachusetts, and their ability to win anywhere is, frankly, in question at this time. (Will Bob Shrum have his own entry in the Guinness Book of World Records under "key strategist for most losing presidential campaigns"? Only time will tell if eight is a record that can be beaten.)
Patrick gave a nice interview to WBUR last week (you can listen at this link). In it, he describes himself as a "citizen public servant," and as someone who retains "a sense of humility" that will let him "listen hard and carefully to what the people of Massachusetts need and want in their leadership." These are promising words that bode well for his campaign, should he choose to enter the race. Let us just hope that he continues to listen far more "hard and carefully" to the people of Massachusetts than he does to the people of the DNC.