Speaking at a semi-private event at a Cambridge marketing firm yesterday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick offered up some remarkably candid comments about what he was thinking during and after the manhunt for the Boston bombing suspects. The Boston Herald appears to have been the only local outlet to snag the quotes (it’s unclear if they had a reporter in the room, or if it was recorded).
So far, the nugget most outlets—including the Associated Press (and me!)—are running with is the fact that Patrick says he tied one on the following night after the manhunt came to a close.* But there’s also a few other interesting tidbits in there, including a behind-the-scenes look at his conversation with President Obama as the manhunt and city-wide lockdown dragged on. A few of the highlights, most of which are newsworthy more for their candidness than their content:
On the post-manhunt binge.
“I got out to the Berkshires around supper time (Saturday, April 20). And I went for a quick swim, and I went to a local restaurant … for supper by myself with a book. And I sat in the corner and Maggie, who runs the (restaurant), asked, ‘Do you want to be near people or away from people?’ I said, ‘As far away as I can.’ So she put in the corner, me and my book on my iPad, and she starts bringing me things. Some of them edible. In fact all the food was edible. She starts bringing me things to drink as a celebration. And by the end of the meal, I was actually quite drunk, by myself.’
On the lockdown and the president’s advice.
“In the afternoon … I went back to the offices in the State House … and I took a nap. (Then) the phone rang. It was the president. … And he said, ‘Deval, I’m briefed. … What are you going to do about the city? You can’t keep it locked down indefinitely.’ … I said, ‘Mr. President, I know that. … I’m trying to sort that out now.’ … Basically the state police had said we should end this … when we finish the door-to-door in Watertown. So if we haven’t found him, we should say to people, ‘Look, live your lives, but please be careful because he’s still at large.’”
On the simple reason why no one complained about the lockdown.
“Look, the reason why it worked out in the end is because we found him. If we didn’t find him then people would be bitching and moaning about how we kept them indoors all day.”
I think it’s safe bet that Deval wasn’t the only one who tipped back a few drinks after what proved to be a stressful day for all involved. Nonetheless, it’s still somewhat surprising that a politician would speak so openly about the whole thing if he knew a reporter was in the room. (If any of these quotes come back to haunt him, it would probably be the “bitching and moaning” one, although even that one seems rather innocuous.)
You can read the full Herald report here, which includes a follow-up interview with Maggie, who says she couldn’t tell the governor was drunk. (Controversy!)
*Correction: An earlier version of this post wrongly suggested that Patrick went drinking the night the manhunt ended. The governor says it happened the following night, on Saturday.