The Slatest

Deval Patrick Is the Finance Candidate Democratic Voters Don’t Need and Didn’t Ask For

Patrick, standing in a doorway, smiles as he is crowded by photographers.
Deval Patrick in New Hampshire on Thursday. Brian Snyder/Reuters

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is running for president! Let’s see how it’s going.

Ah, YouTube can be tricky. But surely he’s got a handle on the more basic parts of digital campaigning, like making sure he bought and redirected it to his campaign website? Rather than leaving it in the hands of self-identified “fans” who operate it unofficially and sometimes spell his name “Davel”?

The text "MEET DAVEL" over a blurry photo of a man.

At the very least, he must have arranged his affairs such that his resignation from the private equity company Mitt Romney helped found wouldn’t be a news item on his first official day of campaigning for the Democratic nomination?

Maybe attacking your opponent’s Wall Street connections is a tactic that has faded in effectiveness since Barack Obama employed it against Romney in 2012?

Screenshot of a news article titled "Trump attacks Clinton over paid speeches released by WikiLeaks." The speeches in question involved Wall Street firms.
The Verge

OK … could the angle be that Patrick cashed in at Bain for purposes of financial security after a long previous career of unassailably useful public service? Is that what happened, Boston Globe article from 2007?

Governor Deval Patrick, who was criticized during the gubernatorial campaign for his involvement with a controversial subprime mortgage lender, called a top official at Citigroup, former US Treasury secretary Robert E. Rubin, two weeks ago to intercede on behalf of the owners of Ameriquest Mortgage as they sought urgent financial assistance from the global financial giant. In a statement to the Globe, Patrick said he made the Feb. 20 call to Citigroup not in his role as governor but after a personal request to him from a top official at ACC Capital Holdings, the firm that owns Ameriquest Mortgage, which has frequently been accused of predatory lending. … Patrick served on the ACC board for two years, earning a salary of $360,000, until he resigned in July.

Well, perhaps he’ll be able to spin his boardroom experience as an asset—to argue that we need a more authentically accomplished businessman than Donald Trump at the helm because an unstable and incompetent executive branch is a threat to the economy?

Screenshot of a news story titled "Dow rips to a record high, now up nearly 18% on the year."

There must be some positive case for Patrick’s candidacy, though; no one would enter a presidential race later than any candidate in 30 years without one. Perhaps it’s that Democratic voters are widely dissatisfied with and unenthusiastic about the current field of candidates.

Or maybe it’s just that none of those candidates embodies the exact qualities that Patrick would like to project—of someone fresh and forward-looking who can chart a middle way between an aging Joe Biden and his leftist co-front-runners.

Screenshot of a story with the headline "Buttigieg surges to the top of new Iowa poll."

Not more than one of those candidates?

Cory Booker smiling in a photo from his campaign website.


We do know that Patrick has a number of supporters who worked for Obama. But no one would run for president just because a few possessive insiders from the last administration are having second thoughts about the 76-year-old they initially chose as their standard-bearer, right? Right, the Atlantic?

That Patrick seems poised to jump into the race at the last minute is the clearest sign yet of how much anxiety there is among Obama’s inner circle about Biden’s campaign. … Alumni of the 44th president’s administration, along with many other Democrats, are desperate to find the next Obama. Already wincing at the undermining of Obama’s policies by Trump on the right, they bridle at the (usually implicit) attacks on his legacy by Democratic-primary candidates on the left, and are eager to defend against them.


Good luck to the Davel Patrick campaign.