You’d think former Governor Mitt Romney would get a little love from his former state of Massachusetts. But, it sounds like he has a better chance of moving to South Carolina and making new friends there.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick got an early start on Romney bashing last week, offering his thoughts on the Iowa GOP caucus held on January 3. The governor pulled no punches when describing his predecessor, who is on a quick path towards securing the Republican nomination.
Patrick attempted to paint Romney as being cut from the same cloth as the other candidates who want to take President Obama’s place in the White House.
“It [was a win on January 3] for the Tea Party agenda. That was really the big winner,” the governor said on The Early Show on CBS.
“I mean the candidates in many respects are interchangeable because they’re all offering exactly the same plan, and that’s a plan that says that everybody in America is on his or her own and that’s a very, very different plan that the president has offered and that the Democratic Party stands for,” he added.
Patrick also reminded viewers of how close the race was with a bit of back-handed praise for Romney’s Iowa win.
“I congratulate Mitt Romney who was the victor — barely,” the governor said. He was referring to the razor-thin eight vote lead Romney took over former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
Patrick has settled into his role as an advocate for President Obama considering the politics of usually-Democratic Massachusetts. His thoughts on the race are important for a few reasons.
First, he is an ardent supporter of the president and a sitting governor. As someone with executive experience, his opinions show how the policies of the Obama Administration translate well to the state level.
Next, he occupies the same office that catapulted Mitt Romney to the national spotlight. Since Romney is “everybody but nobody’s favorite” in the GOP race, he can speak to a view of Romney from those most affected by his policies — the people of Massachusetts.
Patrick’s state also delivered a shocking blow to the president in January 2010 when Scott Brown, a Republican, was elected to the U.S. Senate to fill Sen. Ted Kennedy’s vacant seat. The Brown victory was the first time that Massachusetts sent a member of the GOP to the Senate since 1972. It was Brown’s election that prevented Senate Democrats from achieving the 60-seat filibuster-proof majority.
Now that campaign season is here, though unofficially for Democrats, the media will continue to turn to prominent Obama supporters to rebuff GOP claims that the president is not fit for a second term in office. They will also talk about how the president’s economic policies have helped Americans navigate through the difficult recession.
At every turn, Americans should see stark contrasts being painted between the president and the GOP contenders. Obama’s team knows that the choice needs to be clear by November of who should serve in the White House. Expect to see much more of Deval Patrick and other high-profile African Americans making the case for a second term for President Obama.