Deval the insider?

Interesting to note what kind of response the Globe's top-of-B1 story on Deval Patrick's private meeting with House Speaker Sal DiMasi and Senate Prez Robert Travaglini has generated out there in pro-Deval land--namely, nada. Nothing on Blue Mass. Group. Nothing on Mass Revolution. Nothing on the Deval Experience. Nothing on Ryan's Take. Etc.

Maybe that's because, if you're a devoted Patrick partisan, you can't just pan the story as B.S. That Patrick met yesterday with DiMasi and Travaglini (and has solicited help from other legislators) is no surprise; to win in November, he probably needs to have the state's Democratic power brokers helping him out. But as Frank Phillips and Andrea Estes aptly note, it's hard to square Patrick's courtship of Beacon Hill bigwigs with the harsh anti-Beacon Hill rhetoric he's been using on the campaign trail.

As for Patrick adviser Doug Rubin's explanation of this disconnect--"A lot of that [rhetoric] is directed to the current leadership in the executive office"--let's just say it couldn't be less convincing. If Deval wanted to criticize the Romney-Healey Administration, there's an obvious phrase to use: it's "the Romney-Healey Administration." When Deval rips Beacon Hill, people think he's ripping the Legislature. And that's precisely the point.

Healey's going to be all over this in Monday night's debate, so Patrick had better figure out how to spin the issue more effectively than Rubin did. Otherwise, Healey can just dust off Mitt Romney's "Gang of Three" critique from '02. The question is obvious: Deval, how can you rein in the Legislature if you're relying on it to get you elected?

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