As DEVAL PATRICK gears up for the fight of his political life, Boston Phoenix Executive Editor PETER KADZIS and political reporter DAVID BERNSTEIN sat down for an hour-long conversation to let Patrick make his case for why he deserves four more years as Governor of Massachusetts.
It was surprising on several levels. Not least of which is this: given the faux-pas-filled first months of his governorship, his list of accomplishments is wonkishly impressive. And, given the political hand-to-hand combat that's sure to follow, we were surprised that Patrick refused to take the bait and bash his soon-to-be-competition -- or even take a swipe at the stubborn state legislature. Maybe he flet it was too early in the cycle to acknowledge the existence of his Republican challengers. (Or maybe he was saving it for his health-care sneak attack, which came days later.) And yes, he still needs the legislature to send him bills that will, if passed, become part of his re-election stump speech. But his refusal to make cheap excuses, and his focus on the diligent, deliberate dispense of duty, was a reminder that for all his shortcomings as a PR machine, the governor has been a keen and effective manager of the state during an historically disasterous economic downturn. "I knew that money would be tight. I did not anticipate a global economic collapse," he said, by way of an introduction. "I knew that change would be hard. I didn't expect that to do some of the change we would end up in hand to hand combat with our friends."You'll hear a lot of soundbites over the next six months, so before the shit starts flying, here's an hour of real talk about real issues and real policy. If you're into that sort of thing.
PODCAST: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick: The Boston Phoenix interview [mp3]