| Wed, Feb 21, 2007
8:50 AM EST
(Pro-small business, pro-consumer. Good stuff. - promoted by Charley on the MTA)
The Globe columnists continue to pile on.
Today it’s Jeff Jacoby
, a day late and a dollar short. Yesterday, it was Brian McGrory
looking down from Mount Olympus and handing out his sage advice. Last week it was I’m-mad-as-hell-and-I’m-not-going-to-take-it-anymore threats from Joan Vennochi
Lesson: When the Globe complains about not using your post-election momentum, it’s a promise, not a threat, implied. A little more grandstanding, also known as “using the bully pulpit,” might have helped cushion the inevitable blows that have been landing for the last week or so over Governor Deval Patrick’s ill-considered purchases and piss poor response to the inevitable brouhaha. But it’s doubtful.
I’m a Patrick supporter, and though I’m still optimistic, I realize there is a huge difference between running for office and running an office. Patrick was pretty good at running for office. It remains to be seen how effective he’ll be as governor. His poor handling of the press was also evident early on.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with any governor redecorating his office or getting a slightly nicer car. (The full-time aide for his wife, however, seems a bit excessive, but time will tell if Diane Patrick is an active enough first lady to need one).
I do resent the headline “Patrick to repay taxpayers for decor.” When people use the word taxpayer, you know they’re trying to piss somebody off. Patrick didn’t redecorate his house. He decorated our governor’s office. Who else is supposed to make decorating decisions about it? Moreover, the governor’s office should reflect the dignity of the position. If that costs some money, so be it. And should an elected official foot the bill to redecorate state property? Do we only want to elect people who can afford to pay for their new desk, drapes, etc.? Again a little perspective is in order: what do other governors do?
The quality of our lives doesn’t depend on the symbolism the press chooses to inflate into news stories, but the actual work of our government depends on our leaders handling these symbols competently. Without such competence, it’s hard to get the actual work done. A month and a half into office, Patrick has been shockingly inept in his handling of symbolism and the press. His budget, which matters directly to our well-being, is due out soon. I’m optimistic that he’s got a handle on it, but I’ve got my fingers crossed.