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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
In this 2014 file photo, President Obama, left, speaks with then-Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick upon arrival on Air Force One at Boston Logan International Airport in Boston.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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(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.

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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