THE SPINE FEBRUARY 6, 2008
Despite the endorsements by senator Teddy Kennedy (and by the extended clan from New York to California), the other senator from the Bay State John F. Kerry and the governor of the Commonwealth Deval Patrick, Barack Obama lost Massachusetts, and he lost it by a rather sizable margin. If not exactly a repudiation of the three, it shows that voters don't put too much trust in what they say.Still and frankly, I can't understand why Teddy's enthusiasm for Obama didn't produce more strength at the polling booths. John F. Kerry's support didn't register, mostly because he himself doesn't register with the electorate any more any way. There is some primary opposition already announced. But I don't recognize the candidate's name. So Kerry may just saunter into office again. Unless a strong Republican shows up to challenge him. On the other hand, I can't think of a strong Republican.Which brings me to Patrick. He has turned out to be a screw-up as governor. It was predictable because, although he had the high office of assistant attorney general for civil rights, did not accomplish much in that position, hewing to a view that the state of race relations in the country had not changed since the sixties. Then he worked as a lawyer for Texaco and Pepsi. His career is one of those narratives of upward failure.Patrick's endorsement of Obama probably hurt the candidate. Patrick has very little credibility in the state. He is now trying to fix his budget problems by bringing gambling casinos into the Commonwealth. This is a scheme that will entrap people short on cash to wager (wrongly) that they'll make a bundle in one night, which they won't. But the state may subsidize their heating costs. Cynical, oh, so cynical.