VIDEO: Governor Deval Patrick for Barack Obama

    “I like that early voting!” Governor Deval Patrick says; an off-the-cuff statement he makes in casual conversation while being fitted for a lavaliere microphone, not far from a sign that reads, ‘Elections are won in the last 72 hours.’

     The second floor of 179 Lincoln Street is hopping today, despite the fact that the space, undergoing renovations, looks like the sort of concrete skeleton that trance-dancing rave organizers drool for. Dozens of twenty-somethings -- speaking in a variety of regional and international accents -- chat on their cell phones, some of them only looking up from their conversations to catch the eye of a lingering friend, or, you know, shake hands with the governor.

     Earlier today, Patrick stopped by what is serving as a phone bank center for Barack Obama, to meet and greet campaign volunteers and get out a pro-Obama message of his own. “I am humbled by the turnout across the Commonwealth, and across the country,” the governor said, “There is a tremendous amount of excitement. Obama’s camp has done everything they can do at this point, and now, it’s up to the voters. We’re counting on the voters to vote for change.”

     Patrick, of course, is a staunch Obama supporter, having helped the senator campaign in Massachusetts in 2007. Though the two seem to be harmonious political foils, it’s unlikely that Patrick will join his old friend in the White House if Obama is elected. When asked if there was a space for Patrick in a President Obama’s cabinet, the governor replied that even on his toughest days on the job, he’d rather be right here in Massachusetts.

     It’s this dedication to his constituency that makes Patrick himself part of today’s appeal. Several volunteers say they canvassed for the governor when he ran in 2006, and his presence at 179 Lincoln invigorated the already frenetic environment, comprised of veteran campaign volunteers and brand-spankin’ newbies.

     “This is my first election,” says Catherine Monaco, 18, a student at Emmanuel College, where she is a member of the College Democrats. “My dad lost his job earlier in the year, so I’m here for him. Barack Obama has an energy that [indicates] he’ll never give up on similar people. He’ll be the president for everyone.”

     “I think Obama has the potential to be a once-in-a-lifetime leader,” says Leslie Borden, of Cambridge. “Probably, more than anything, it’s because of his capacity to listen, which is something we’ve been without for eight years. Over eight years.

     “Obama is opening up a dialogue that’s desperately needed in this country,” Borden continues. “I believe by 2012 we will have seen significant progress.” 

     Governor Patrick agrees. “We are hungry for a visionary type of leadership,” he says. “That is what Obama means when he says, “the change that we need’.”


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