Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts may seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, according to reports. Two Obama administration alums have been urging Patrick, 61, to consider the option, even as former Vice President Joe Biden considers a run himself.
Reportedly, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett feel Patrick should run. Jarrett, who was one of Obama’s closest White House advisers, said she feels Patrick would be able to connect with voters.
“He has the ability to touch people’s hearts as well as their minds,” Jarrett reportedly said. “I think our country is ready for that now — let alone in three years.”
Axelrod expressed similar sentiments, saying Patrick inspires people.
“He’s kind of a natural to look at because he was a successful governor,” Axelrod said. “He is an inspiring guy, and you have to ask yourself: ‘What is the country going to be looking for in their next president after this guy?’”
While Patrick has not publicly expressed his intentions, former Vice President Joe Biden, 74, seems to be interested in a 2020 bid.
In June, he announced the start of a political action committee (PAC), a move generally preceding a future presidential campaign bid. Titled “American Possibilities,” the PAC is being run by Biden’s former aide, Greg Schultz, who also worked on the two presidential campaigns of former President Barack Obama.
If both Patrick, who is favored by Axelrod and Jarrett, and Biden, Obama’s friend, run in 2020, alumni from the prior administration will be forced to pick sides. Insiders say that both Patrick and Biden would find support from their former colleagues, but, according to the report, Obama administration official thinks Patrick would earn the most support.
“The center of gravity would really shift in [Patrick’s] direction in Obamaworld,” the source reportedly told Politico, “if he were to decide to run.”
However, Obama himself may find it harder to choose sides. According to Politico:
Obama and Patrick have had a relationship for 20 years. The pair have advised each other on political decisions and traded endorsements throughout the years, and Patrick is the only politician on the board of the Obama Foundation.
Biden’s age, at 77 years in 2020, may be a barrier for him. But the former vice president has been busy since leaving the White House. Along with American Possibilities, the first half of the year has seen the creation of the Biden Foundation and the Biden Cancer Initiative, proving he is not ready to slow down.
Although Biden decided not to run in 2016, he expressed disappointment in the decision.
“Do I regret not being president?” Biden replied when asked last spring. “Yes.”
Patrick has thus far avoided confirming anything about his political future, however.
“I’m trying to think about how to be helpful because I care about the country, and I’m a patriot first. It’s way, way too soon to be making plans for 2020,” Patrick told Politico. “So, I’ll just leave it at that. I have no plans to make plans.”
Another potential rival for the presidency is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 75. He says he’s “keeping the door open” for another run.
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