Could yet another (former) Massachusetts governor become a presidential candidate?
That’s the hope of none other than those in Barack Obama’s inner circle, according to Politico.
Former Gov. Deval Patrick is being encouraged to run for president in 2020 by former Obama advisers well-versed in what it takes to run, the outlet reported Tuesday.
The 44th president himself, who is a long-time friend of Patrick, has even “privately encouraged him to think about it,” according to Politico.
But what does Patrick have to say about it?
“I’m trying to think about how to be helpful, because I care about the country, and I’m a patriot first,” he told Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere in an interview for the outlet’s Off Message podcast. “It’s way, way too soon to be making plans for 2020. … So I’ll just leave it at that.”
Patrick’s focus at the moment is his current job, he said, of managing Bain Capital’s social impact fund — the same Bain Capital investment company founded by Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts and a 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
Still, Deval’s hesitation hasn’t stopped some from fantasizing.
Per Politico, “Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s close adviser and friend, says that a President Patrick is what ‘my heart desires.’”
Obama strategist David Axelrod has also reportedly had multiple conversations with Patrick about running in 2020, playing out in his mind how Patrick’s 2006 gubernatorial run would provide him the small-town experience to woo Iowa and the voters he would get “as an African-American heading into South Carolina.”
Patrick reluctance to take over as Commander in Chief, however, is not because he supports how the current administration is running things.
“The president, I believe, is at risk of diminishing the voice of the presidency because he pops off so often, and so, kind of, carelessly,” Patrick told Politico. “I think there is a risk both domestically, and internationally for that matter, that we’ll begin to tune him out.”
Patrick also took issue with Trump’s notorious tagline “Make America Great Again,” and the implications behind it. Trump was selling “nostalgia,” he said.
“You know, saying to communities, whose factories have left, that the solution is to bring that factory back. It may not actually be the most constructive, or even honest, pitch to make,” he said during the podcast.
He also had some advice for the Democrats who will take on Trump in 2020, even if he’s not among them.
“I think we can’t be just about what we’re against,” he said. “We have to be about what we’re for.”
“I think offering an alternative vision for the future of this country, and the role of government alongside the private sector, alongside philanthropy, alongside individuals exercising their free creativity, is enormously important,” he added. “We can do that as a party. We have done it in the past, and we can do it again. I think we have to, to win.”