Deval Patrick, we hardly knew you and hardly had time to mock you.
Patrick was Obamaworld’s dream candidate.
Barack Obama is nudging him to run. His inner circle is actively encouraging it. Obama world’s clear and away 2020 favorite is sitting right here, on the 38th floor of the John Hancock Building, in a nicely decorated office at Bain Capital.
Obama strategist David Axelrod has had several conversations with Patrick about running, and eagerly rattles off the early primary map logic: small-town campaign experience from his 2006 gubernatorial run that will jibe perfectly with Iowa, neighbor-state advantage in New Hampshire and the immediate bloc of votes he’d have as an African-American heading into South Carolina.
Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s close adviser and friend, says that a President Patrick is what “my heart desires.”
David Simas, Obama’s political director in the White House and now the CEO of his foundation, used to be Patrick’s deputy chief of staff and remains perhaps his biggest fan on the planet.
Obama veterans light up at the mention of Patrick’s name. In self-assurance, style and politics, they see the former Massachusetts governor as a perfect match, the natural continuation of Obama’s legacy.
Then, oddly, Deval Patrick jumped in at the last, last minute. And it did not go well.
Patrick, who made a late entrance into the 2020 presidential race last week, was scheduled to speak at Morehouse College, but canceled the event after arriving at the school’s Atlanta campus and learning that only two people were in the audience, according to CNN.
According to CNN, no one was in the audience at Patrick’s event up until five minutes before the event, when two female students — who reportedly said organizers asked them to attend as they were passing by in the hallway — arrived.
And now the dream is dead.
Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor who in November made a late entrance into the Democratic 2020 race, ended his campaign on Wednesday, according to a statement provided to CNN.
The announcement comes after Patrick, by getting less than 1,300 votes, turned in a disappointing performance on Tuesday night in New Hampshire, his neighboring state.
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