Is Patrick himself worrying about his ideological positioning? It’s pretty hard to argue otherwise when he chooses to respond to Reilly’s question by retreating from the bill less than 24 hours after the debate.
Patrick seemed legitimately rattled last night. I chalked it up to over-preparation for an all out assault that never materialized. Instead he came across as defensive and over-sensitive. But this move is just weak-kneed. Last night it was enough that he would veto provisions that would impair law enforcement officials. Today, he feels the need to run away from the bill entirely.
Maybe he is thinking what Maryanne Marsh is thinking:
Mary Anne Marsh, a Democratic political consultant, said nothing in the debate is likely to prompt voters to switch their allegiances at the polls in next Tuesday’s primary. But, should Patrick win, he could have opened himself up to attack in November with some of his comments, she said.
“Right now, you can see where Kerry Healey and the Republicans are going in the general election, and that will be ‘tough on taxes and tough on crime,’ and they are going to haul out some of those statements and hit Deval Patrick with them like a 2-by-4,” said Marsh.
Patrick’s campaign offered this carefully worded statement:
On Thursday, the Patrick campaign distanced itself from the bill. “They are wrong to include him as a supporter of the act,” said spokesman Richard Chacon. “The president of the organization knows that Deval does not support the measure.”
Read: They are now wrong to include him as a supporter of the act [because we just pulled back]. The president now knows that Deval does not support the measure [because we just called him.]
Hold onto your seats, folks, this ballgame ain’t finished yet. Reilly put in a strong performance last night that has apparently carried into today, while Patrick is showing some latet-inning jitters about his own positions.