By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – The other day I spent an enjoyable hour talking with a group of people about local politics, and in the course of discussing Gov. Deval Patrick, I mentioned that while I admired him as a man and a politician who has tried to do some good things in office, I found his rhetoric about our rosy economic outlook during the campaign to be disingenuous.

I believe the exact term I used was “baby talk.”

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

After my talk, a guy approached me who claimed to be a neighbor of the governor’s out in western Massachusetts, and he politely chastised me for not giving the governor enough credit for the great job he had done turning our economy around. “And besides,” he said, “he had to brag to win re-election.”

True enough, I guess. But I still wonder how the governor can look himself in the mirror as the evidence continues to pile up of how tough things still are for the local economy.

The latest piece of that comes from a UMass Dartmouth poll of more than 1,200 residents that still found a “broad-based sense of economic anxiety” due to rising costs and widespread worry about job security and making ends meet.

The poll found nearly one in three residents are concerned they or a member of their household might lose their job in the near future. And solid majorities are very anxious about affording health care, housing, and higher ed. 66% were either concerned or very concerned about taxes.

With most local economic analysts now seeing a slowdown in our recovery, it makes you wonder if the governor really believes all that self-serving happy talk he doled out during the campaign, or understands the less-rosy truth and is acting accordingly.

If it’s the latter, we’re in big trouble.

If it’s the former, time to drop the baby talk once and for all.

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.

Comments (25)
  1. Jon Murphy says:

    With all due respect to our Gov. Patrick, the economic numbers to not back him up.
    There has been no positive net change in jobs the years he has been in office
    Jobs that are coming into Massachusetts are low income Leisure & Hospitality and Human Service jobs, mostly.
    Jobs that are leaving Massachusetts are high wage Manufacturing and Information jobs.
    The State has reached record budget deficits under him.
    Our health care system is a shambles.
    For some reason that is impossible to understand, the MBTA has actually gotten worse under him.
    The average wage of Massachusetts has stagnated under him.
    Cost of Living (as measured by CPI) has grown beyond the national average.

    Sorry, sir, but the evidence just isn’t here.

  2. dan says:


  3. StanleyRamon says:

    There’s nothing wrong with trying to inject some optimism into all the doom and gloom, but yes I agree, you’re elected now, so let’s really see what can be done to turn things around. I have always felt a good gauge of the economy is construction. When people are building and fixing their homes and businesses, it’s a sure sign that we’re moving in the right direction. I do see some of that happening. The Southfield project on the South Shore finally being underway, after 12 years of stagnation, is an example; but as a small contractor myself, I’m not seeing it on the residential level. People still seem to be afraid to spend too much. Maybe it will take a little more time and let’s hope those economic analysts are wrong.

  4. ENUFF says:

    He is Mr. Rhetoric. He and his buddy Obama are masters of the spoken word that lull the public. I am not optomistic about this state or the nation.

  5. BostonIrish says:

    Save the ego stroking for pouty children, Stan. This guy is in his 2nd term and has done jack. He’s trying to take credit for things he hasn’t done. The jobs are NOT returning and the level of unemployment is still staggering. If one more liberal says “we’ve faired this downturn better than most states have”, I’m gonna scream! There are more empty houses and foreclosures than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime here in Massachusetts. That’s unemployment causing that. That whole fiasco with Fidelity leaving Massachusetts and the slap in the face Patrick took is exactly what is wrong with him having a second term.

  6. Eduardo says:

    Like most politicians, he’s concern about re-election and more importantly what is the next office he’ll run for. Politicians lie and it is about time we understand that they and their party come before the voters.

  7. BostonIrish says:

    By the way, Kudos to Deleo for insisting they won’t raise taxes. I’m sure Deval is having trouble sleeping at night over it, too.

  8. Jon Murphy says:

    To be fair, BostonIrish, Massachusetts has faired the recession better than most states. Of course, that doesn’t mean we’ve escaped unharmed.

  9. FireGuyFrank says:

    If Massachusetts is doing so well, why has the Commonwealth lost yet another seat in Congress? Why did Fidelity move out? Why are people out of work so long they give up looking (thus REDUCING the unemployment rate)? Gov. Pablum is spinning as best he can. Trust me, the economy will sink hard and fast again very soon as gas prices continue to rise. The gov’s buddy in the White House is whistling past the grave yard on this, too.

  10. emom says:

    The economy in this state is just like the rest of the country, Its standing still, and going no where.. But we see out of control spending of our tax dollars. In this state, when will we see Jobs return, why do we see companies take huge hand outs and then skip town, why do we allow that. We have so many projects that have cost overruns , huge delays and take 10 times longer to complete, Then there is the “you must have medical insurance” or be penilized. So unfair to the unemployed. They have enough with trying to keep a roof over their heads , stomachs full, and staying warm and dry. Not to mention the many children that suffer because education is lacking in areas, and then we hear of extreme cuts town by town year after year , and again the threats of loosing vital services to seniors, children and families in need. I have seen the lay off’s of over 40 teachers, the eleimination of a fourth shift of the fire department, the lack of road repairs for over 20 years, the rising of property taxes, the increase of booze, sales, gas, cigaretts, resturant, excise, and a variety of other taxes,, They give us a tax break and then take it back at tax time, The then go as far as tell us what we can do , eat, drink , and even as much as what we can do ,,,, They speak of so many changes I have to wonder, whats the purpose and whats the cost going to be. We hear all the time JOBS are returning to the state, sure they are, if you want to call retail being a return of jobs, dont get me wrong its a start, but so many bigger companies will not return and then there are the huge bonuses that are given out to ceo’s and big time executives and yet we give this to them, And then our politicians on the hill make all these cuts across the board adn when there is a surplus of funds, what do they do with it,,,,, give it out to all the politicians in the form of raises and bonuses,,,,,,, This is where it needs to change,, if there is a surplus in funds, dont give it out , bank it , out it away, dont use it,, its for the area you made all those cuts… put it back into those budgets ,,,, stop robbing peter to pay paul and then when you dont have enoung go and create a new tax or raise a tax to compinsate for the difference,, Start looking at the salraies as well of all of becaon hill,, This state has not gotten any better, its spinning out of control faster each year.

  11. DrStrangelove says:

    Jon, at first I thought you actually meant the governor talks like a baby. I thought, “Finally, someone else who thinks his whiney toddler voice is irritating.” But alas, you meant Deval’s whiney political rhetoric, to which I agree, as well. People who say stuff like “Mass is weathering this economy better than most states” had better be able to back that statement up. Tell me what other states are you comparing us to? Alaska? That make-believe state of Puerto Rico? Back up your ridiculous statements with some facts (remember – There are lies, d— lies, and statistics, so be very careful where you get your info). If Massachusetts is doing so well, prove it. Come to Lawrence and tell us how well we’re doing. Come to Springfield and give us your Great Plan for Renewal and Rejuvenation. How did a Democrat get reelected, you ask? The Dole, my friends. Plain and simple. The Dole is what keeps this state rolling, and the Dole is what will ultimately kill us. If people aren’t working, the economy isn’t working. If the economy isn’t working, the government isn’t workin. It’s a simple (but frustrating) game of connect the dots, which is a bit of a baby’s game. No wonder Deval babbles toddler-speak.

    1. Stephen Stein says:

      Comparing the state’s unemployment to the national unemployment rate (statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) shows that when Romney took over in 2002 our unemployment rate was 0.9 percent lower than the national average. By the time Romney left in January ’06, the unemployment rate was equal to the national average. When Patrick’s second term started in 2010, the unemployment rate was back to 0.9 percent better than the national number. Now it’s 1.1 percent better.

      1. FireGuyFrank says:

        Lest we forget, Stephen Stein, the unemployment figure is a poll. The question is: Are you employed? If the answer is “No”, then the follow up question is: Are you looking for a job? If the answer is “Yes”, then that person is “unemployed”; if the answer is “No, I am not looking for work”, then that person is NOT UNEMPLOYED. It is very likely that more people in Massachusetts have stopped looking for work than in other areas. Statistics are tricky.

  12. jaygee says:

    I think that it would be wise for people to not just look at Massachusetts but rather, the entire country and the world. Most are having a tough go and while there are still plenty of people making money, times are definately tough. This didn’t happen in the last 2 years with Obama and it’s certainly not the fault of the Democrats or the Republicans. It’s the fault of both. Everyone wants to lower the national debt but nobody wants services pertaining to them cut and they don’t want their taxes raised. Well, guess what, you can’t have it both ways. The war in Vietnam was a disaster for this country 40 years ago and the conflict in the Middle East for the last 9 years hasn’t done any good for this country either. I didn’t call it a war in the Middle East because in a war, there has to be two army groups, not just one. Unfortunatley, that one army is ours.

  13. akelly says:

    Uh, He isn’t doing a good job or anything. Does he even know what he is talking about half the time? I don’t think so. People NEED to WAKE UP! Why did you vote him back in again? HES JUST MAKING THINGS WORSE! And I agree him & Obama are buddy buddy teaming up and trying to make the world horrible. Just saying. Its my opinion I have the right to speak my mind. This state is in horrible condition.

  14. Mark says:

    One day soon the political hacks will out number the actual working stiffs in this state and then maybe the politicians & their hack community will all leave cause the well has completely run dry. The party is everything to these leeches no one gives a hoot about the peolple who pay for it all.

  15. todaline says:

    I love these comments. The WORLD is in a recession. America is in a RECESSION. It means that the places where we CAN export are not buying as much. It also means, whether you like it or not that this mess, while being a bipartisan mess, was mostly the fault of that good man we could drink a beer with. You know that good man who took a huge surplus and turned it into a huge deficit. You do not wipe a huge deficit overnight. And before some starts telling us about a greater deficit under the democrats remember that the wars were NEVER part of the deficit under Bush. So maybe if the dems had not found a mess to cleanup, we’d all be saying how great Obama and Patrick are (I doubt it).

  16. ENUFF says:

    It’s too late people!, the pols and wall street have done us in!!!

  17. taxedout says:

    The people in this state Love the guy. Not enough of You got out and voted to get rid of him. If you lost your job, have trouble paying your Increasing Tax load, and bills, you have 4 more years of the same….Enjoy!!!! Oh and Please buy the man’s book!!!!

  18. mikey says:

    Our so-called leaders, both state and federal, are nothing but a bunch of croutons floating in a cesspool of political you-know-what.

  19. DrStrangelove says:

    Todaline – While I appreciate your screaming about the entire world and maybe even all the planets in our solar system being in recessions, THIS particular blog is about DEVAL and the state of MASSACHUSETTS. It’s not that I don’t give a rat’s tailend about the rest of the country or China or neptune, it’s just that this particular topic posted by Jon Keller, whose blog this is might I remind you, is about DEVAL. So you can “love all these comments” as much as you want and belittle us for responding to Jon’s musings, but staying on topic would be much more beneficial to your case. By the way, Pluto’s recession is over and it’s a planet again. I’m just saying.

  20. todaline says:

    DrStrangelove, you CANNOT UNLINK Mass from the rest of the world as what happens elsewhere affects Montana or Mass or Quebec or Paris or Moscow or Praia or Cape Town, etc. You cannot isolate Mass from the rest of the world and say this is a local problem. It is not. Remember before the recession? Mass was doing great, right?

  21. BostonIrish says:

    todaline-I can. What happens in Quebec or Cape Town has no bearing on me here in Massachusetts whatsoever. If you used some city in China I’d partially agree with you because everything is made there. Depends on which sweatshop my stuff comes from.

  22. Steve says:

    Milton is NOT western Massachusetts. Great Barrington is western Massachusetts. That would be like saying Connecticut is in the western U.S. – just because it’s west of Boston doesn’t mean it’s anywhere near western Mass. Sheesh – don’t you guys have maps that extend beyond Boston Common?

  23. taxedout says:

    Is this guy Back yet?????

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