Deval Patrick, our traveling governor, was on the road again yesterday, this time not to sell his book or raise money for his PAC, but to stump for President Obama in New Hampshire.
No matter that State Street had just announced that it was cutting more than 500 jobs in Massachusetts, the Globe reports that “most of Patrick’s remarks, which drew cheers, laughs, and one standing ovation from the crowd of about 200, focused on creating jobs.” I’m assuming the laughs weren’t at the absurdity of the governor of a state with 7.6% unemployment lecturing a state with 4.9% unemployment about jobs.
Patrick goes on to lament that a story like his own story of achieving the American dream “is a story that seems increasingly difficult to tell for the unemployed in Massachusetts and elsewhere.” Returning to an anecdote he had used frequently during the last campaign, Patrick “described a visit he made to a Quincy job center where most of the members had gone 18 months or more without work.” (You may recall this from one of the gubernatorial debates in which he mentioned that this group meets at an IHOP and proceeded to explain for us all that IHOP stands for “International House of Pancakes.”). Patrick returned there in February and at that point, many of the group had been unemployed for close to two years.
It’s almost like Patrick forgets that he’s been governor of Massachusetts for the last four and a half years. Or rather, he is totally oblivious to the fact that choices he and LG Tim Murray have made may be contributing to unemployment or slowing down the state’s recovery. Nope, nope, nope. When there is good news or good data, it is all thanks to him, but when somebody has been unemployed for 18 months while he’s been governor, it certainly doesn’t reflect poorly on him. (And really, when does this start to come back on him? Shouldn’t some enterprising reporter find out whether any of these unemployed people he met with a year ago and five months ago are still unemployed? Are there more people in this jobs club today than there were last year? At what point does this stop becoming an anecdote about the troubled economy and become an anecdote about his administration's performance in office?) [Ed. note: HA! - Dan]
Patrick’s denial about the connection between his – or any Democrat’s – actions and the fact that there are people who have been unemployed for almost two years is evident in his speech. As the Globe reports, the story of the Quincy people struggling to find work is “all the more reason, he told his audience, for Democrats to get involved in the 2012 campaign.” Yes, you read that right. The solution to our nation’s economy is to elect more Democrats. Democrats like Barack Obama, who has brought us unemployment of 9% or above for all but 6 months of his presidency.
Sounds like Patrick is giving us all a reason to vote Republican.