Prez bid could pit War­ren vs. Pa­trick

Mass. Dems could prove ma­jor con­tenders for 2020

Boston Herald - - NEWS - Joe BATTENFELD — joe.battenfeld@boston­her­ald.com

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.

NANCY LANE / BOS­TON HER­ALD FILE

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.

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