Warren’s ascendancy, and the donor class freakout over her, have been the two biggest stories of the POTUS Democratic primary campaign thus far.
Governor Patrick’s entry into this fray today has caught quite the buzz — more than I honestly expected, and could very well mix things up.
The media is covering it, of course — and much of the left on Twitter is simultaneously having its own freakout, and rushing to cast Patrick as anyone other than the progressive that he was, stripping away all context of a legislature that McConnell’d him and forgetting that Democratic Party politics in 2006 were quite different than they are in 2019. (Patrick helped pave the way for some of those differences, FYI.)
There’s also been a rush to paint Patrick as just another desperate act of the billionaire class — but the tea leaves are saying something very different, IMO.
Here are some good questions to ask to understand the state of the primary today:
- Why is Joe Biden struggling to raise money — and has been, from the start?
- Why has Joe Biden struggled to hire top staff?
- Why do so many people in the donor class and establishment view Joe Biden as a paper tiger ready to be crushed?
- Why Deval Patrick, why now?
A hint: It’s probably all the same answer. If we were to put it on a Wheel of Fortune board, there’d be two words and I’ll give everyone a free B and O.
From that person’s POV: Warren made her Senate bones blocking his Wall Street nominees, and she wants fundamental changes the establishment, and he, can’t accept. The Zuckerberg campaign (Pete Buttigieg) is also out. Sanders is a non-starter, and zero percent of anyone else in the race has a chance.
But a candidate with real progressive achievements that could appeal to today’s party, who ran a state starting with some of the lowest job growth in the country and left office as one of the hottest job markets in the world? Someone who’s oratory skills and message discipline are among the best in the party? That sounds like someone who could be a good consensus pick, win a primary with a little help, and reform a winning general election coalition.
Anyone who thinks Patrick’s strictly running a vanity campaign should be careful. There isn’t any way he’d be running like this without some serious backing.
It’s still a long shot starting on November 14th, but some people, including one person in particular, really doesn’t want Elizabeth Warren to be President — and doesn’t think Joe Biden has the chops, either. They’re going to be motivated to help Patrick.
If Patrick gets any kind of traction and Biden continues to falter, that certain someone may just give Patrick a rather large endorsement going into NH.
The Warren wing of the party ought to be prepared for that.