Keller @ Large: Patrick Needs To Give It To Us Straight

BOSTON (CBS) – Remember Gov. Deval Patrick’s State of the State Address from one year ago?

UPDATE: Patrick’s State Of The State Postponed Due To Snow Storm

Of course you don’t, almost nobody outside of the governor does. That’s the way it is with political speeches. Quick, outside of “ask not what you can do for your country,” quote me a line from a presidential inaugural address.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Keller at Large Jan 21 2014

But through the magic of the internet, I re-read last year’s speech, and this sentence jumped out at me: “As I consider our work together over the last 6 years, I think most governors wonder ‘What will last?’”

Gov. Patrick’s answer then was his $2 billion tax plan to fund transportation and education. That didn’t last, getting chopped down to a fraction in the end.

So what will last from the Patrick era?

I think the jury is still out on that, but I do have an idea of something he could do in his final State of the State speech Tuesday night that would definitely make an enduring mark.

Tell the truth about our economy.

This governor hasn’t always gotten credit from his critics for understanding where our economic future lies and trying to promote it as best he can.

But he has also, like most politicians, been heavy on the positive spin, reluctant to deliver the sobering news about entitlement costs, competitive disadvantages, and hidebound politics.

He could change all that Tuesday night by giving it to us straight about our lukewarm economy, what our problems are, and what we need to do to fix them, even after he’s gone.

That would be a message that might actually last.

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

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