Patrick needs to start now if he’s running

March 15, 2018 | G. Michael Dobbs

Reportedly our rock star senator  – not a snarky description but just a fact – Elizabeth Warren is not planning to run for president in 2020, but our former governor is thinking about it.

No, not Mitt Romney. He’s running for the Senate in Utah.

Media reports have said Deval Patrick is considering a run for the White House. Of course, one might argue that 2018 is too early for such a notion, but it really isn’t.

Being a governor is pretty good preparation for being president. Of the 46 presidents, 17 of them have been governors prior to ascending to the Oval Office.

The problem all of them had to overcome is national recognition. Who knew much, if anything, about Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter or George W. Bush before they decided to run?

The answer is not very much.

Easily the best-known governor turned president had been Ronald Reagan and he built a national reputation because he was governor of one of the most watched states, California, and because he was a freaking movie star for decades. He was the “Gipper” for goodness sakes.

Deval Patrick, if he were going to win the nomination, would have to start right about now with all of the activity a national candidate must do to build the organization he needs.

He must also start to develop a higher national profile, something he hasn’t really been doing since he has left office. The activity I think that received the most and not the best coverage was his role as a high priced lobbyist for the people who wanted to bring the Olympics to Boston, perhaps the most bone-headed suggestion in the modern history of the Commonwealth.

Of course that is a bump in the road. Patrick’s time as governor was not without controversy – remember the remodeling of his office? – but I think he left with an air of accomplishment and good will.

At least in Western Massachusetts, Patrick was the most seen governor in years. It helped he had a second home in the Berkshires, but hey we’re so starved for attention out here we gladly overlooked that little fact. We thought he just liked us a lot. If he was president would that mean his retreat would be here?


Of course he has to get elected first, which means he is going to have do more than just mull it over.

Time is fleeting

My brother-in-law just gave me a 1991 copy of the late and lamented Chicopee Herald and it was a fascinating look at the recent past.

Hey, to me 1991 is still the “recent” past. I know for many it’s ancient history.

One element that interested me is the number of businesses that are gone from the city and area.

The deceased banks were one major example. Remember Bay Bank? Park West Bank and Trust Company?

There is a huge ad for WREB radio, the Holyoke station where I worked as a talk show host for five years along side of Jonathan Evans and Ron Chimelis. Those were five of the best years of my professional life in talk radio, before it was ruined by the dominance of syndicated national shows it was a wonderful medium. The boss never listened to what was on his air giving us enormous creative freedom.

The former restaurants that are featured also are prominent. R.W. Doran’s in Springfield? The Ashley House? The Meeting House? Heidi’s? Do you remember any of these?

How about Burandy’s? Chopin Inn? Good Old Days? Barclay’s at the Ramada Hotel? People actually willingly went to a hotel to eat?

Another part of the ‘paper that stunned me was a home improvement section titled ‘The Herald’s Post-War Reconstruction Guide.” What?

A second headline explained the concept: “While Kuwait is rebuilt, how about some home improvement for your own kingdom?”

Oh my God.

How tasteless is it to capitalize on a war? Obviously local businesses thought it was okay because the section is chock-a-block with ads.

Different time, different sensitivities.

I wonder what people will think in another 20 years when they look at today’s newspapers? Perhaps they will wonder at first just what is a newspaper.

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