Keller @ Large: Deval Patrick For President?

By Jon Keller, WBZ

BOSTON (CBS) — “Would you like to be president?” my colleague Karen Anderson asked Governor Patrick yesterday at the State House.

“Oh, gracious, no!” he replied, explaining that he’s backing President Obama for a second term, which of course was not the question Karen asked him. But never fear, the governor went on to clarify the situation, telling Karen: “My next thing after this is to, first of all, finish these four years and then go back into the private sector.”

Well, actually, that tells us nothing, because assuming Obama wins a second term the Democratic race to succeed him wouldn’t begin until well after the governor’s term is over. But at his press conference yesterday, the governor truly, finally put an end to any presidential speculation, saying: “I don’t have any plans or interest in running.”

Watch Jon’s piece on WBZ-TV

Well, that’s reassuring – or is it? Saying you have no plans or interest in running is not the same as saying you won’t ever run; in fact, it’s a pretty conscious effort NOT to say never.

Anyway, that’s the sum total of the governor professed disinterest in succeeding his pal in the White House.

Now, the countering evidence: Patrick and Obama are both clients of political consultant David Axelrod, the closest thing there is a Democratic presidential kingmaker. Obama gave his political career a boost by writing an inspirational autobiography; now Patrick has done the same. Both men are experts in the art of campaigning. Both have egos the size of Mount Washington, as do most bigtime pols.

Listen to Jon’s commentary from WBZ NewsRadio 1030

So is Governor Patrick following a familiar script to put himself in position for a possible 2016 run for higher office? He sure seems to be, and as long as he doesn’t give the state short shrift in the process, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. By playing super coy, he is doing nothing differently from any of his ultra-ambitious predecessors.

But I can’t help but think the same thing I thought when Dukakis, Kerry, Weld, and Romney all played this same game with us – just who do you think you’re fooling?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m.  You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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