Who Is Deval Patrick And Should Republicans Be Worried?
Deval Patrick is the former governor of Massachusetts who has talked about a presidential bid for 2020. While he hasn’t officially filed the paperwork, he’s done more than dip his toe in to test the waters. He’s exploring the possibility of entering the Democratic race since so many of the party are worried that current candidates can’t get the job done.
Elizabeth Warren doesn’t want to see Patrick in the race. As a Senator for Massachusetts, having someone from her home state would likely complicate her own campaign because people of the state would be divided as to where to give their support. She just became the frontrunner, so she doesn’t want to lose her stride.
Warren likes Patrick, however. In fact, last week she was asked to name three people of color for her presidential cabinet if she were to be elected. Deval Patrick, someone she calls a friend, was one of those named.
Deval Patrick running would be competition to more than just Warren. He’s an African American male who did well as governor. For those who want to see another Obama in office, they could easily find that in Patrick. He’s competition for Cory Booker, too, who was previously the only African American male running for the Democratic nomination.
Patrick knows that it wouldn’t be easy to come in this late. Warren has been running hard for almost a full year. He’d have to hit the ground running, and that’s not something that is a guaranteed possibility from him.
There are also whispers of how Patrick would be breaching political etiquette by entering this late in the game. Barney Frank, a former Massachusetts Congressman, makes the comment that it is a “provincial trivialization” of the presidency. While anyone can enter the race at any time, there’s a generally accepted timeframe and Patrick is well outside of that window.
The question that many people have to ask themselves is: Can he beat Trump if he were to get the DNC nomination?
That cannot possibly be answered, though it is probably unlikely. Patrick has already met with quite a few people to see if a potential campaign can be launched. This includes talking with political strategist Rosy Gonzalez as well as former Senator, Mo Cowan. He’s probably kicking himself that he didn’t grab Doug Rubin, a political analyst and ally who had urged Patrick to run for 2020. He was the chief strategist for Warren’s 2012 campaign. However, Patrick had said in December that he wasn’t going to run in 2020, which meant that Rubin moved on – and is now advising the presidential run of Tom Steyer.
With Patrick and Warren running in so many of the same political circles, Warren has a number of key endorsements already, including Representative Joe Kennedy III and State Attorney General Maura Healey. They’re not going to go back on their endorsements, so Patrick would have to look elsewhere, and this late in the game, it’s harder to get them.
There’s still a lot of details that are unknown about Patrick, too. He’s not as left-leaning as Warren has gone over the past year, so that can be a benefit in some regards. While there are plenty of people who want to see a complete 180 with how the country is being run, most people want to see a more conservative approach. For the Democrats, that’s someone who’s going to be a middle-of-the-road kind of person like an Obama or a Biden.
One thing is for sure – he cannot possibly get the DNC nomination if he doesn’t get his paperwork filed. The longer he continues to drag his feet, the more deadlines he’s going to miss in order to get onto the debate stages. He may also be in jeopardy of not making it onto the primary ballot for Iowa and New Hampshire. Not making it into an entire state can be costly.
Even if he were to run, and even if he could get the fundraising in place, he has a long way to go before he can be considered a frontrunner. He’d have to push past Buttigieg, Sanders, Biden, and Warren – and they’ll all been campaigning for close to a year. While it’s nice that he wants to add another decision for the Democrats on their primary ballots, he should probably stick to his original idea in December and decline a run in 2020. Maybe he can become more decisive and be ready for 2024, but there are plenty of options on the ballots already.