Hillary: Watch out for Deval Patrick

Conservatives who breathed a sigh of relief with Vice President Joe Biden’s removing himself from the 2016 race should stop, look, and listen. There are other potential presidential candidates on the horizon.

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is one. Although he has said no to a run, and although the time is getting late, Deval Patrick is a longtime ally of President Obama. His only criticism of the President is that he does not tout his great successes enough.

Recently, Gov. Patrick put his name on the cover of Winning Marriage. It’s a book about the thus far successful movement to gain marriage rights for homosexual couples. In 2014, this book listed only Marc Solomon as author.

Now, prominently displayed, is the name of “contributor” Deval Patrick.

This is not a “dog whistle;” it’s a foghorn blast from the Boston Light. It’s telling wealthy liberal donors: I was right on this issue that you care deeply about years before Hillary was.

If Patrick came into the Democratic race, he would be formidable.

Gov. Patrick acquitted himself well during the Boston Marathon bombing. He governed a very liberal state for two terms, leaving office with a high approval rating. He was elected as Massachusetts’ first black governor in a state where only 8.1% of voters are black.

Deval Patrick’s successful 2006 campaign was managed by David Axelrod and David Plouffe. Axelrod begins his memoirs -- revealingly titled Believer -- at the Boston inauguration of Gov. Patrick. Axelrod told Plouffe that if they managed this campaign so well, they might do the same thing for Barack Obama in Washington in 2009. The rest was history.

Deval Patrick’s advantages over the now supposedly prohibitive favorite, Hillary Clinton, should be obvious. He would be new and fresh. She has more baggage than Samsonite. He ran a scandal-free administration. She carries a cloud of scandal shading into law breaking wherever she goes.

More important, however, is that Deval Patrick is likeable and she is notoriously unlikeable.

She is also unskilled. She has tried to distance herself from the administration she served for four years. She has been unbelievably clumsy in doing so. When President Obama said his guiding principle in foreign policy was “don’t do stupid [stuff],” she told journalists that “don’t do stupid stuff is not an organizing principle for a great nation.” As soon as pro-Obama critics pounced, she backtracked, falling all over herself in the process. Of course she didn’t mean President Obama! [Quick googlers: Find us any other of the 44 Presidents who ever said “don’t do stupid stuff.”]

Even now, she is trying to say she would have been tougher in Syria. Would she have bumped off Bashar al-Assad, the way she got rid of Libyan bad guy Muammar Kaddafi? The CBS News clip of her cackling over Kaddafi’s gruesome death is perhaps the ugliest episode in American diplomatic history.

The obvious question for those of us who care about America’s place in the world is: How did Libya turn out for us, Madam Secretary? Is this what you hope to accomplish in Syria?

Probably the most important thing of all: Deval Patrick would drive black voter turnout to historic levels. Van Jones, the Obama official who proclaimed himself a Communist, is not wrong about everything. He shrewdly noted that the Democrats need 95% of black Americans’ support in order to win.

Will Hillary achieve that? Not likely. Campaigning against Barack Obama in 2008, she attacked him for his supposed lack of appeal to “hard-working white working class voters.” Race and class and sex? What else can they campaign on? But note the implication of her remarks: Was she implying that other races are not hard-working?

If a Republican had said anything remotely like that, he or she would have been howled down as a racist sending “dog whistles.” But for Hillary, she can send out a foghorn blast and seemingly get away with it. 

But she didn’t really get away with it. It turns out she lost the votes of women in key Democratic primaries in 2008. And she lost the votes of white women, too.

I claim no inside knowledge of the Democratic field. We don’t know who may emerge clean and fresh. We know that Deval Patrick has quietly said he “isn’t a fan of Hillary Clinton.” See? He’s more likeable already!

We don’t know who may ultimately emerge to grab the brass ring. I do, however, think it will be someone whom President Obama likes and respects. And that ain’t Hillary.

Why would President Obama want to be succeeded in the White House by Hillary? Then, he would be two-blocked in the Democratic pantheon by Bill and Hillary Clinton. They accomplished nothing but surviving scandals. He delivered on a host of key items on the liberal agenda.

All we can say for now is: Watch out for Deval Patrick.