Deval Patrick Joins The Presidential Race Belatedly

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick entered the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination this week, further muddying up the waters at a time when we need fewer candidates.

Patrick is impressive in many ways, but being connected to Bain Capital, the company started by Mitt Romney, is not a plus, and it seems to this blogger that he has little chance to be a major factor in the race, in that sense joining former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has decided not to compete in the February 2020 contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

The concern is that by having ever more contenders, the Democrats will shoot themselves, and help Donald Trump to win the Presidency, even after he is impeached by the House of Representatives, but failing to be convicted in the US Senate.

The fact that there are still ten contenders in the MSNBC debate this coming Wednesday in Atlanta, cosponsored by the Washington Post, is not good, as clearly some of them have zero chance to be the nominee.

At the same time, other contenders, including Julian Castro and Steve Bullock, are probably now no longer to be seen as serious contenders.

But one cannot see Tom Steyer or Tulsi Gabbard as serious contenders, and they are in the upcoming debate.

Hopefully, the number of contenders will soon decline rapidly after this fourth debate.

26 comments on “Deval Patrick Joins The Presidential Race Belatedly

  1. D November 16, 2019 1:05 pm

    ‘Deval Patrick’s Candidacy Is Another Chapter in the Democrats’ 2020 Clown Car Disaster’

    By Matt Taibbi (11.14.2019)

    Deval Patrick, former governor of Massachusetts and newly-resigned executive of Mitt Romney’s private equity firm Bain Capital, has entered the Democratic primary race, which is shaping up to be the biggest ensemble-disaster comedy since [the 1981 film “Cannonball Run”].

    Patrick’s entry comes after news that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg put himself on the ballot in Alabama and Arkansas. It also comes amid word from Hillary Clinton that “many, many, many” people are urging her to run in 2020, and whispers in the press that an “anxious Democratic establishment” has been praying for alternate candidacies in a year that had already seen an astonishing 26 different people jump in the race.

    A piece in the New York Times a few weeks ago suggested Democratic insiders, going through a “Maalox moment” as they contemplated possible failure in next year’s general election season, were fantasizing about “white knight” campaigns by Clinton, Patrick, John Kerry, Michelle Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder (!), or Ohio’s Sherrod Brown.

    The story described “concern” that “party elites” have about the existing field:

    “With doubts rising about former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s ability to finance a multistate primary campaign, persistent questions about Senator Elizabeth Warren’s viability in the general election and skepticism that Mayor Pete Buttigieg, of South Bend, Ind., can broaden his appeal beyond white voters, Democratic leaders are engaging in a familiar rite: fretting about who is in the race…”

    LOL at the non-mention of Bernie Sanders in that passage. If Bernie wins the nomination, “Buttigieg Finishes Encouraging Fourth” is going to be your A1 Times headline.

    Patrick in announcing voiced a similar set of “concerns,” basically saying he’s proud to enter this deep, richly experienced field that sucks just enough to force his emergency entrance: “I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field. They bring a richness of ideas and experience and a depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country.”

    The Times said Patrick’s policy prescriptions place him “closer to the ideological center than to the left.” In another story about Patrick and Bloomberg, the Times explained that both men “believe there is room in the race for a more dynamic candidate who is closer to the political middle than Mr. Biden’s two most prominent challengers, Ms. Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders.”

    People like Bloomberg and Patrick seem to believe in the existence of a massive electoral “middle” that wants 15-point plans and meritocratic slogans instead of action. As befits brilliant political strategists, they also seem hyper-concerned about the feelings of the country’s least numerous demographic, the extremely rich. A consistent theme is fear (often described in papers like the Times as “concern”) that the rhetoric of Warren and Sanders might unduly upset wealthy folk.

    “I don’t think that wealth is the problem. I think greed is the problem,” Patrick told [“CBS This Morning”]. He added that “taxes should go up on the most prosperous and the most fortunate,” but “not as a penalty.”
    What does that mean? Should we impose higher taxes on the rich but include a note from the IRS saying, “It’s not because we don’t love you”?

    Along with an alarmingly high number of press figures, politicians like Patrick seem to be trapped in an “electability” concept that hasn’t made sense since the Reagan-Bush years. Outside of a few spots on the Upper East Side and in Georgetown and L.A., the “center” has been gone a long time.

    From Donald Trump to Sanders to Warren, the politicians attracting the biggest and most enthusiastic responses in recent years have run on furious, throw-the-bums-out themes, for the logical reason that bums by now clearly need throwing out.

    America’s political establishment has created vast inequities not only in the economy, but in criminal justice (where street crime is heavily punished, but white collar crime is not), war (it’s mostly not the sons and daughters of politicians and CEOs getting killed in overseas conflicts), health care (where much of the population lives in fear that getting sick will trigger bankruptcy), debt forgiveness (Wall Street bailout recipients got to write off losses, but people suffering foreclosures and student loan defaults are ruined), and other arenas.
    You can’t capture the widespread discontent over these issues if you’re running on a message that the donor class doesn’t deserve censure for helping create these messes. It’s worse if you actually worked — as Patrick did — for a company like Ameriquest, a poster child for the practices that caused the 2008 financial crisis: using aggressive and/or predatory tactics to push homeowners into new subprime mortgages or mortgage refis, fueling the disastrous financial bubble.

    If we count Bloomberg, Patrick marks the 28th person to run in the 2020 Democratic race. Pundits from the start have hyped a succession of politicians with similar/familiar political profiles, from Beto O’Rourke to Kamala Harris to Buttigieg to Amy Klobuchar to John Delaney, and all have failed to capture public sentiment, for the incredibly obvious reason that voters have tuned out this kind of politician.

    They’ve heard it all before. Every time a long-serving establishment Democrat gets up and offers paeans to “hope” and “unity” and “economic mobility,” all voters hear is blah, blah, blah. They’re not looking for what calls a “Goldilocks solution,” i.e. “Buttigieg, but older,” or “Biden, but younger” (or, more to the point in the case of this Bain Capital executive, “Mitt Romney, but black”); they’re looking for something actually different from what they’ve seen before.

    The party’s insiders would have better luck finding a winning general election candidate if they randomly plucked an auto mechanic from Lansing, Michigan, or a nail salon owner from Vegas, or any of a thousand schoolteachers who could use the six months of better-paid work, than they would backing yet another in the seemingly endless parade of corporate-friendly “Goldilocks solutions.” That’s assuming they can’t see past themselves long enough to at least pretend they can support someone with wide support bases like Sanders or Warren.

    If what the Times calls the “Anxious Democratic Establishment” remains stuck in the same doomed, outmoded “centrist” strategy, next year’s general election season will almost certainly be a miserable repeat of 2016. It seems like everyone sees this but the people with the most money to fund challenges to Trump. Watching people like Patrick talk themselves into running into the populist wood-chipper is a cringe-worthy spectacle, like watching a relative who can’t sing at all talk himself into going on [“The Voice”]. Can someone tell these people the bad news?

  2. Jeffrey Moebus November 16, 2019 4:30 pm

    Given everything that has happened since Election 2020 that started back on January 20, 2017 ~ if not November 9, 2016 ~ i am led to conclude that the Democrats are part of a conspiracy to ensure that Donald Trump is re-elected next November.

    One can only guess who the next self-appointed Donkey Messiah will be who promises to lead The Faithful out of The Wilderness. Well; if all else fails, there’s always Oprah and/or The Hillary as the good old Boy Stand-by, if Warren, Biden, Bloomberg, etal, don’t pan out as good, card-carrying corporatist liberals. And running any neo-proto-socialist progressive will also accomplish Trump’s re-election, as well.

    And in the meanwhile, the Debt zooms on beyond $23 trillion; there still is no federal budget for FY 20 [and when there is, it will include a new $1 trillion addition to that Debt]; another Shutdown looms; the bankruptcy of SS, MC, etc is one day closer; and The Forever War is no closer to being over than it was on 9/12.

    It would be interesting to see how an opinion poll that included “None Of These Candidates” would turn out.

  3. Pragmatic Progressive November 16, 2019 4:34 pm

    I’ve been hearing a lot that we may wind up with a brokered convention. I’m dreading that.

  4. Princess Leia November 16, 2019 4:38 pm

    They can get rid of the lower tier candidates by upping the qualifications for the December debate.

  5. Jeffrey Moebus November 16, 2019 4:41 pm

    Why would anyone dread a “brokered convention”/ Given the fact that every convention is brokered ~ some just more openly, overtly, and blatantly than others ~ what’s the big surprise or concern? That’s how the American political system does business and works.

    That’s why the only choice Americans had in 2016 was between The Donald and The Hillary.

    The Democrats don’t want to change or fix that System. They have enjoyed it just as long as the Republicans, and see no reason to change it.

    They just want only their fair share of time at the head of the line that accesses the Trough. Just like the Republicans.

    The corruption is at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue and all over Swampland, and it didn’t start with Trump.

  6. Jeffrey Moebus November 16, 2019 4:46 pm

    And that corruption certainly won’t end if Trump is defeated next November. It will continue to only get worse.

  7. D November 16, 2019 11:14 pm

    The 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election was held today [Saturday, November 16, 2019].

    It is re-election for Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards.

    “Politico,” from the above link, projected it by 11:00 p.m. ET. (The excellent Dave Wasserman, who was able to determine the numbers needed by Edwards from the states’ Parishes, was timely tracking the results on Twitter.)

    With the 2019 Kentucky gubernatorial race a Democratic pickup—with Andy Beshear having unseated Republican incumbent Matt Bevin (who did concede)—the Democrats go into 2020 with 24 to the 26 for Republicans in held governorships.

    Although the midterm elections of 2018 were an overall gain for the White House opposition party, the Democratic Party, the gubernatorial elections were a numbers advantage for the Republicans because of popular governors from Massachusetts, Maryland, and Vermont—the timeline is that they won their first-term elections near the end of the GOP’s advantage (off then-Democratic U.S. president Barack Obama). Had the 2018 Democrats ended up with a new majority of 26, rather than 23, governorships they would have also flipped (margins wise): 24. Florida (–0.40); 25. Georgia (–1.39); and tipping point state 26. Iowa (–2.73).

    This 2019 result from Louisiana—and also with Kentucky—is good for the numbers for the Democrats, by comparison to where they were just a few years ago. Prior to the 2017 elections, when they won a pickup of New Jersey, they had just 15 governorships.

  8. Ronald November 16, 2019 11:21 pm

    The Louisiana results are indeed encouraging for the Democrats, as we come into 2020!

  9. Jeffrey Moebus November 16, 2019 11:23 pm

    i can’t wait to hear Trump’s explanation that ~ like Kentucky and Virginia ~ Louisiana was not his fault.

  10. Jeffrey Moebus November 17, 2019 12:04 am

    Heh. Yeah; another anti-abortion and pro-gun rights Governor is just what the Democrats need, isn’t it. But it does keep the Blue-Red Governorship map lookin good, at least as far as down on the Bayou is concerned.

  11. Former Republican November 17, 2019 9:18 am

    Good to see another defeat happen for Dumb Dumb Trump. It’s an ominous sign for him.

  12. Rational Lefty November 18, 2019 12:16 pm

    There is a second reason John Bel Edwards won re-election in Louisiana that is arguably just as important as the Trump backlash phenomenon we are witnessing.

    That is because Edwards is a candidate that fit the electorate. By that, I mean, he is a Moderate Democrat who ran in a State that is more Red than Purple. A Progressive Democrat would not have won in Louisiana, nor any other State or District like it.

    So going into 2020 elections, especially in the case of the Senate and House, we need to put forth Candidates that fit with the voters in order to win, and I would argue that winning with a moderate Democrat is better than losing with a Progressive Democrat.

  13. Princess Leia November 18, 2019 12:16 pm

    Good point, Rational Lefty. That’s why I’m not writing off any of the moderate candidates running for president. I don’t think the country is as far to the left as some people would have us believe.

  14. D November 18, 2019 12:59 pm

    Rational Lefty writes, “So going into 2020 elections, especially in the case of the Senate and House, we need to put forth Candidates that fit with the voters in order to win, and I would argue that winning with a moderate Democrat is better than losing with a Progressive Democrat.”

    Princess Leia writes, “ Good point, Rational Lefty. That’s why I’m not writing off any of the moderate candidates running for president. I don’t think the country is as far to the left as some people would have us believe.”

    ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Since the 17th Amendment of the 1910s—which is direct election of U.S. senators by the states’ voting citizens—there have been 27 midterm election cycles specifically from 1914 to 2018. The White House opposition party won the overall gains in 24 (including the most recent 2018).

    In odd-numbered years which follow leap years, there are gubernatorial elections in New Jersey (a 2017 Democratic pickup off Republican U.S. president Donald Trump) and Virginia (a 2017 Democratic hold with increased 2013-to-2017 margins).

    In odd-numbered years prior to leap years, there are gubernatorial elections in Kentucky (a 2019 Democratic pickup off Republican U.S. president Donald Trump), Louisiana, and Mississippi. (In 2015 Mississippi, then-Republican incumbent Phil Bryant won re-election by nearly +34 percentage points off then-Democratic incumbent U.S. president Barack Obama. The 2019 Republican hold, for Tate Reeves, was a percentage-points margin just under +6.)

    This 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election—a Democratic hold with re-election for John Bel Edwards (off Republican incumbent U.S. president Donald Trump)—is in line with historical voting pattern of the White House opposition party, in a non-leap/-presidential year, having won the overall gains.

    If you take a look at the Wikipedia link to “List of Governors of Kentucky” (, you will notice the Republicans have a poor historical record of winning two consecutive election terms. A Republican wins a cycle and then it flips Democratic with the next cycle. Which is funny given the state of Kentucky—which voted for all presidential winners in the ten consecutive election cycles of 1968 to 2004—is now one of the most core Republican states in presidential elections.

    In 2015, during the presidency of Democrat Barack Obama, the U.S. Popular Vote, for U.S. Governors, in Kentucky (a Republican pickup for Matt Bevin), Louisiana (a Democratic pickup for John Bel Edwards), and Mississippi (a Republican hold with re-election for Phil Bryant) was a combined raw-vote margin of around +189,000.

    In 2019, during the presidency of Republican Donald Trump, the U.S. Popular Vote, for U.S. Governors, in Kentucky (a Democratic pickup for Andy Beshear having unseated Republican incumbent Matt Bevin), Louisiana (a Democratic hold with re-election for John Bel Edwards), and Mississippi (a Republican hold with a first-term-winning Tate Reeves) was a combined raw-vote margin of around +3,000.

    These are results, for the most part, reflective of the history of the White House opposition party having won the overall gains in election cycles which are not leap/presidential years.

    ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    In response to Ronald’s blog topic “A Sense of What Might Happen in the Presidential Election of 2020” (November 6, 2019 @, I wrote the following:

    During the 20th century, there were five incumbent U.S. presidents who were unseated: 1912 Republican incumbent William Howard Taft; 1932 Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover; 1976 Republican incumbent Gerald Ford (never elected U.S. president or U.S. vice president); 1980 Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter; and 1992 Republican incumbent George Bush.

    The opposition-party challengers who unseated them were: 1912 Democratic challenger Woodrow Wilson; 1932 Democratic challenger Franklin Roosevelt; 1976 Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter; 1980 Republican challenger Ronald Reagan; and 1992 Democratic challenger Bill Clinton.

    What those opposition-party challengers, who unseated those incumbent presidents, had in common was change in more ways than one: They did not merely run and win on change; they did not deliver just change for the nation and its people; they also changed their political parties for how they operated going forward. (This is most especially obvious with the examples of FDR and Reagan.)

    There is only one 2020 Democratic candidate in a position to be able to win the nomination who fits into this category: Bernie Sanders. Neither Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren—both are comfortable candidates to a corporate Democratic Party Establishment fighting against not having to change—apply.

    ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    What I mentioned of Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren also applies to Pete Buttigieg.

    ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    So, Rational Lefty and Princess Leia—Election 2020 is an incumbent year. The people have the option to vote to re-elect to a second term 45th U.S. president Donald Trump.

    If one or both of you—everybody who may also be applicable—are going to be voting the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to a “moderate,” which is really yet another one of those neoliberal Democrats who makes for a comfortable choice for the party establishment (and would not change the Democratic Party), you will be voting the nomination to a candidate who, if he/she ends up the general-election nominee, will not move the electorate to vote for that Democratic Party “challenger” to unseat Republican incumbent U.S. president Donald Trump.

  15. Princess Leia November 18, 2019 6:46 pm

    Thanks for that, Pragmatic. It’s a pattern that should not be ignored.

  16. Southern Liberal November 18, 2019 7:06 pm

    From what I’ve learned about Elizabeth Warren, she’s to the left of Biden, more in the Bernie lane.

  17. Rustbelt Democrat November 18, 2019 8:12 pm

    VA, KY, LA, PA these are all suburban and minority individual stances against a–holes. Educated moms and dads had enough hearing about jerks on twitter and on the news saying things about other people that, God forbid, their kids would say and advocating and implementing d-khead policies. They’re tired. They want things fixed. They’ve seen minority coworkers scared and mocked. Brown kids in schools afraid to go because the white a–holes talk like their dads and baseball coaches do.
    They don’t want things changed. Not yet. Just fixed. They want their schools back, their roads fixed, college education affordable and a president who is someone their sons and daughters can respect and emulate. They want their colleagues and friends respected and valued. Safe and healthy. They know this country is moving in the wrong direction. Backwards. The first thing to do is stop that. Then, and only then, can we move forward.

  18. Princess Leia November 18, 2019 8:20 pm

    Cheers to that, Rustbelt! 🙂

  19. D November 19, 2019 10:41 am

    Pragmatic Progressive writes, “ Rational Lefty – It was the same way with the 2018 mid-terms. A lot of the Democrats who won House seats were moderates.”

    The authors of that “Washington Post” opinion piece are Jim Kessler and Lanae Erickson. They are with Third Way, the think tank which has pushed for the damaging corporatism of the Democratic Party which helped ultimately deliver the two most recent U.S. Republican presidencies of George W. Bush and Donald Trump. Notice—there is no mention of the DSCC and DCCC, in that opinion piece, for their candidate recruitment for having shoved even more corporate candidates as the general-election nominees in 2018. Not long ago, Jim Kessler said Bernie Sanders is an existential threat to the Democratic Party. No—it isn’t Bernie Sanders; it is Third Way which has done great damage to the Democratic Party. By corrupting it.

    ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    In 2013, Jim Kessler (along with Jonathan Cowan) wrote the following piece: “Cowan and Kessler: Economic Populism Is a Dead End for Democrats” (December 2, 2013 @

    ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    R.J. Eskow responded to that Kessler/Cowan piece here: “The Democrats’ ‘Third Way’ Quarrel Could Change Your Future” (December 8, 2013 @

    ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Third Way is absolutely an enemy to progressives. True progressives. I do not respect or trust this think tank. It is connected with Wall Street (“Wall Street Uses Third Way to Lead Its Assault on Social Security” @, and it needs to be vanquished.

    If there is anyone here, at “The Progressive Professor,” who respects and/or appreciates Third Way—and you know about this corporatist think tank—you are not progressive.

  20. Pragmatic Progressive November 19, 2019 12:58 pm

    Left-wing blogs, such as Vox, reported about it too.

  21. Pragmatic Progressive November 19, 2019 4:43 pm

    If Bernie is the nominee, I will crawl through hot coals on my belly to vote for him, as I want Trump defeated so badly.

    My first choice is Elizabeth Warren. I like that she’s thoughtful, comprehensive, and pragmatic.

  22. Pragmatic Progressive November 19, 2019 9:13 pm

    Others I like are Mayor Pete, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and Cory Booker.

  23. Pragmatic Progressive November 20, 2019 12:17 pm

    These gun rights nuts are clearly ignorant and paranoid.

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