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Deval Patrick just announced he's running for president as a midseason replacement candidate. You have no idea who he is, but that's not stopping him. He has no compelling or distinguishable platform, but no campaign is perfect (not even highly electable, Donald-Trump-bustin' Joe Biden's). Patrick sees an opening and he's going for it.

Extensive research reveals that Patrick was once governor of Massachusetts. He's the only black person to serve in that role until Ayanna Pressley wins someday. He's a Harvard Law graduate and was assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice under Bill Clinton. He's no small-town mayor, but he's got chops. Unfortunately, he's running for president in 2007.

Mr. Patrick hopes to bridge the divisions that have shaped the contest so far, appealing to centrists and liberals, white and nonwhite voters and across generational and economic lines in a way none of the candidates have been able to do. A close friend of former President Barack Obama, he has told advisers that he envisions a campaign similar to Mr. Obama's 2008 bid, focusing more on bringing people together and healing the country than making a particular ideological case.

Newsflash, dummies, you can't run Barack Obama's 2008 campaign in 2020. Republicans actually learn something from their failures. Besides, not even Obama could deliver "Purple Rain" again. He won in 2012 with a very solid "Around the World in a Day" campaign. Patrick should fire the political whizzes who told him that not believing in anything will make everyone like you.


Deval Patrick Announcement Video youtu.be

Obama's "inner circle" had urged Patrick to run as far back as 2017, but he declined because of what he called the "cruelty of our elections process." The current primary is apparently all hugs and puppies, so Patrick figures he'll show up late to the party after a few other candidates have already passed out in the bathtub. His wife was diagnosed with cancer when he was originally approached, but she's healthy now. That's awesome. He should go spend more time with her.

Patrick is currently a managing director at the investment firm Bain Capital. I'm not going to fault how any brother or sister makes money unless it involve sitting across a table from Laura Ingraham. However, Democrats who aspire to the presidency might want to avoid companies with a similar sounding name as a Batman villain. Bain Capital was a problem in 2012 for Mitt Romney, and It wasn't just class-warfare-waging Obama who gave him grief. Newt Gingrich attacked his Bain career during the Republican primary. Patrick has defended working at Bain and insisted he's never had "to leave his conscience at the door." That makes sense because the nicer corporations have a place to check them.

I almost feel sorry for Uncle Joe (I really don't). He's consistently led the polls since even before he entered the race. He's fended off Seth Moulton and won the coveted Tim Ryan endorsement. But people are still launching campaigns because more than a few powerful Democrats believe the race "remains unsettled."

Remember when women were running?NBC News

What a change from exactly three years ago today when Vox's Ezra Klein asked, "Was the Democratic primary rigged?"

KLEIN: To the extent Democratic primary voters feel like they were denied a broad range of candidates in 2016, and that party officials tried to clear the field to coronate Clinton, well, they're right.

Democratic elites, defined broadly, shaped the primary before voters ever got a chance to weigh in, and the way they tried to shape it was by uniting behind Clinton early in the hopes of avoiding a bruising, raucous race. The question — which is important going forward, not just for relitigating 2016 — is whether that was the right decision. I don't think it was.

I hope Klein appreciates our "broad range" of Democratic candidates this time, because we're in some real pretty shit now. We've got crystal kooks, Russian assets, and a frat-house full of mediocre men vying for the attention of primary voters. The 2016 primary wasn't "rigged." It was a neatly landscaped lawn. The Democratic Party decided to prove a point and now the hedges are overrun, weeds are everywhere, and there's dog crap on the grass. This is why people shop at Trader Joe's. They don't want to waste time choosing between a dozen mostly identical brands of "sensible centrists."

Klein lamented that Democratic primary voters were "cheated" in 2016 of a smorgasbord of potential candidates such as Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and John Hickenlooper. You're forgiven for not remembering, but Hickenlooper was a 2020 candidate for a hot minute. No one cared. Not everyone should run for president at the same time. And no more men need to apply.

Patrick has missed the filing deadlines for the Alabama and Arkansas primaries, but he plans to focus on New Hampshire, South Carolina, and some other early states where he can embarrass himself.

[The New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.

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