Prez bid could pit Warren vs. Patrick
Mass. Dems could prove major contenders for 2020
The biggest threat to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential aspirations is not Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders or Beto O’Rourke. It’s a familiar face from her own home state: Deval Patrick. If Warren wants to win the Democratic nomination, she’ll likely have to go through Patrick first. The former Massachusetts governor is showing every sign of being interested in running, and could be Warren’s intrastate rival once the 2020 race kicks in. There isn’t enough room in the race for two Massachusetts candi- dates — or even three or four if former Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton jump in. But right now Patrick and Warren are the two most viable contenders. Warren may have the money, organization and name recognition but Patrick has the campaigning skills, oratory skills and inspiring back story. He came from nowhere to win the Corner Office in 2010, and anyone who underestimates him does so at their own peril. Patrick campaigned for several candidates in the midterms, increasing his visibility across the country. And he seems definitely intrigued at the prospect of running. “It’s mind-blowing to have people speak seriously to me and about me this way,” he said in a CNN interview in August. Warren also clearly has the desire, but has she already peaked? Supporters were clamoring for her to run in 2016, but now there are more than a dozen other progressives in the mix. By the time Warren finished her successful re-election campaign, her unfavorable rating was close to 40 percent. On Election Day she got fewer votes than Secretary of State Bill Galvin and Attorney General Maura Healey. Yes, that’s right, Bill Galvin was the top vote-getter in the state. If Warren wants to beat Patrick, she’s going to have to go straight at his weaknesses. And he has plenty. First of all, he’s working for Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s old firm, which has been vilified by Democrats as evil vulture capitalists since Romney first ran for U.S. Senate in 1994. There’s also the small matter of his disastrous turn as a paid ambassador for the Boston 2024 Olympic bid. He was supposed to earn $7,500 a day until he was forced to back off the job. Then there’s the Annie Dookhan drug lab scandal under his watch. There’s plenty of opposition research to dig into, and Warren may need it if she really wants to win.
HIGH AMBITIONS: If Sen. Elizabeth Warren plans to run for president in 2020, she may first have to contend with former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.