Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is ranked in the top spot of a yet-to-be-published ranking of the nation’s governors.
That list must have been compiled prior to Patrick’s meltdown over the last two months since taking office. All the stuff about his fancy car and office furnishings, while insignificant, demonstrated a troubling inability to avoid the type of stories that make the people who write the Boston Herald’s headlines froth at the mouth. He followed that up with the revelation of an incredibly foolish phone call to Bob Rubin on behalf of Ameriquest last week. How did Patrick manage to get himself elected so handily in November when he has such bad PR judgment? It’s amazing that his poor decision-making didn’t catch up to him during the campaign and that we’re only seeing it now.
Things only got worse for Patrick this weekend with the announcement that his wife is being treated for exhaustion and depression and that he will be working a flexible schedule for a few weeks. I wish Ms. Patrick and the family all the best, of course, but I also am curious about the illness.
First, do you think the Ameriquest story is what pushed Patrick’s wife over the edge, necessitating medical attention? It was a colossal error by the governor, and I admit that I was somewhat taken aback when I first heard about the story–it must have been very hard for his wife to learn about it, I imagine. Perhaps a memoir of the Patrick administration will hold some clues because no one is saying anything about her condition right now.
Second, does the sympathy from his wife’s illness buy Patrick time to recover from his various recent missteps? For example, I doubt the press will go after the governor quite so hard on the Ameriquest story for a little while because of the family troubles. I saw nothing in the Globe about Ameriquest today, and the front page article quoted Senate minority leader Richard Tisei as saying, “I think most legislators and the public at large will definitely give him the benefit of the doubt and the leeway that he needs right now.” That doesn’t sound like Massachusetts Republicans are going to be calling for an investigation any time soon.