It is the resignation that cost Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., his job.
Despite having one of the easiest jobs in America, Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray called it quits May 22—meaning Gov. Deval L. Patrick will not be succeeded by an accident-prone dolt, rather party regular William F. Galvin, the secretary of state, will serve as acting governor until the end of Patrick’s term in January 2015.
Just like Donald H. Rumsfeld could not be fired as Pentagon chief until his deputy Wolfowitz was sent to lead the World Bank and Richard M. Nixon could not be impeached until Spiro T. Agnew was dispatched, Patrick has been chained to his desk in Boston—a victim of his own succession.
Murray was a useful running mate. A supporter of abortion rights, who played up his Irish-Catholic upbringing, Murray was the figurehead mayor of the Bay State’s second city and was in many ways the proto-Biden for Patrick, who grew up in a poor black family with an absent father in Chicago’s South Side before earning scholarships to Milton (Mass.) Academy, Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
When President Barack Obama introduces Patrick to the nation, in a few weeks, it will be a real case of what philosopher Yogi Berra called: “Déjà vu all over again.”
Although the Obama’s 2004 was well-run, it really was during the Patrick’s 2006 campaign that David Axelrod and his sorcerer’s apprentice David Plouffe put the final touches on the methods they would use to put Obama in the White House, such as the use of new media and neurologically-tuned aspirational rhetoric.
Patrick slogan: “Together We Can” was just one tweak away from Obama’s “Yes, We Can.”
Patrick’s MySpace page supplemented his campaign website that was a cutting-edge platform with photos, position papers and videos. The site actively collected email addresses that fed the campaign’s email outreaches.
Rhetorically, the campaign’s biggest coup was Axelrod’s burglary of the word: Hope from the House of Clinton. William J. Clinton was the “Man from Hope, Arkansas,” who “still believed in a place called: Hope,” especially when he awarded students the Hope Scholarships.
In his speech to the state party’s 2006 convention, Patrick used the word 11 times, and in a key passage said: “I’m not asking you to take a chance on me, I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations. Take a chance on hope.”
When he ran for president in 2008, Obama used the same line: “I’m not asking you to take a chance on me. I’m also asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations.”
“Hope” was deployed so many times, so many ways by Axelrod during the 2008 Obama campaign, you would have never known it was once another camp’s calling card.
Flummoxed, the former first lady charged Obama with copying Patrick—not her husband—but, friends, it cannot really be plagiarism if the words were written by the same man.
Plagiarism, of course brings us to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who in his 1988 campaign for president ripped off both Robert F. Kennedy and British Labour Party leader Neil G. Kinnock, which brings us back to Murray.
The price for Murray’s May 22 resignation was a $200,000-a-year job with the Worcester Chamber of Commerce. Nice how things work out?
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