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Deval Patrick Is In, and He May Have an Obama Edge

Former Massachusetts governor is friends with the former president
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2019 7:35 AM CST

(Newser) – Deval Patrick joined the Democratic race for the White House Thursday morning, as expected. "In a spirit of profound gratitude for all the country has given to me, with a determination to build a better, more sustainable, more inclusive American dream for the next generation, I am today announcing my candidacy," Patrick said in a video, per CNN. Patrick, 63, is a former governor of Massachusetts who now works for Bain Capital. But a far more important part of Patrick's resume is his long friendship with Barack Obama, writes Edward-Isaac Dovere at the Atlantic. The gist of the analysis—and a similar one from Ed Kilgore at Intelligencer—is that Patrick may be a truer ideological heir to Obama than Joe Biden.

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Don't expect Obama to issue any endorsements. But "multiple people who know both men told me that they can't imagine Patrick moving forward with a presidential campaign without him talking it through with Obama to get a frank assessment of his chances," writes Dovere. Kilgore agrees: "The question you have to answer is whether Patrick would even be considering a race without Obama's tacit approval." But another point both agree on: Patrick's late entry is a big problem. Obama reportedly urged him to run as early as 2017, but Patrick publicly opted out last year. Things would be much different had he not done so. Now, a successful candidacy "will require magic of Frank Capra–esque proportions," writes Dovere. (Mike Bloomberg is hoping for some of that magic himself.)

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