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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Gov. Patrick stumps for Obama, Warren in Waltham

Published: November 9, 2012
Section: News

Governor Deval Patrick stumped for Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and President Barack Obama at Sebastian’s Ice Cream shop Saturday afternoon, framing Tuesday’s election as a chance to protect the American Dream and meeting with volunteers next door to the Waltham campaign headquarters on Main Street.

Patrick, a top surrogate for the president and national co-chair of his campaign, urged voters to recognize the upcoming election as a choice larger than politics or policy.

“It’s not about an individual candidate or party, as important as that might be,” Patrick said, shouting and standing on a chair inside the packed Main Street ice cream shop. “What’s at stake right now is the American Dream, two very, very different visions of what kind of country we are, what we stand for and what we represent.”

He cited the president’s record of job growth along with auto and financial industry bailouts as his most significant economic accomplishments. But Patrick also referenced the passing of the Affordable Care Act, the Equal Pay Act and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” as proof of Obama’s legislative leadership capabilities.

The Governor praised Obama’s record despite what he called a hostile political climate in Washington.

“Imagine the odds: the worst economy in living memory. A Republican party united in opposition and dedicated to the idea of standing on the sidelines and rooting for failure,” Patrick said.

Criticizing Senator Scott Brown’s advertisements calling himself an independent voice, Patrick responded that Brown has failed to show independence from the Tea Party on the President’s job bills, health care reform and what he labeled “a woman’s right to decide what to do with her own body.”

“We don’t need an independent voice when it’s time to campaign,” Patrick added. “We need an independent vote when it’s time to govern.”

Congressman Ed Markey joined Patrick, urging voters to mobilize one another and drive Tuesday’s turnout to produce a democratic victory. Markey, who first ran for state representative of Massachusetts 40 years ago, said he is one of the few people who can say he was swept into office because of the George McGovern’s Massachusetts victory during the presidential election of 1972. Referring to Patrick’s victory in 2010 over Republican Charlie Baker and Independent Tim Cahill, Markey said the grassroots organization from the Governor’s reelection campaign should model voter turnout efforts again this week.

“I do not know what’s going to happen in North Dakota. I do not know what’s going to happen in Montana,” Markey said. “But we are going to have an Obama-Warren landslide in Massachusetts.”

He expressed optimism that Tuesday would yield a different result than Brown’s victory in Waltham by 53 votes in 2010.

Markey tried to label the Republican ticket as a party for the wealthy, referring to the famous line about national service from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, shouting in a speech that Patrick would jokingly call a sermon once he took the microphone.

“We know what the Republicans are saying this year. Ask not what you can do for your country, but ask rather what you can do for your country club member,” Markey said. “They’ve got the money, but we have the people.”

Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, who spoke before Patrick and Markey in Waltham, recognized the impact that high voter turnout among Democrats for the presidential and senate races could have on local contests such as his.

“We need to get out there and deliver every single vote,” Koutoujian said. “Get out there and use your personal capital.”

While Patrick’s speech was filled with critiques of Republican policies and positions, he did not shy away from criticizing Democrats for demanding immediate change after the president’s 2008 victory or for being unwilling to engage with their political opponents.

“There is power in the respect shown of engaging with someone and making it clear to them you are not just working for Democrats. You are working for this whole country,” Patrick said.

After forming a new political action committee called TogetherPAC, Patrick has traveled the country this year, delivering speeches in several swing states and appearing regularly on talk shows to speak on behalf of Obama’s reelection campaign.

Democrats, including Patrick, have called the Massachusetts health care reform bill signed into law by Governor Mitt Romney in 2006 a model for the Affordable Care Act, attempting to show Romney and Brown as opposing the federal law only as a matter of politics.

“The only reason that Scott Brown isn’t supporting national health care reform, is I think the same reason that Governor Romney isn’t supporting national health care reform. It’s because they don’t like the Obama in Obamacare,” Patrick said in an interview after the rally, outside his black Chevy Tahoe SUV, waiting to travel to Boston for an Elizabeth Warren rally.

On Monday, in Massachusetts a new state law aimed to curb the rising costs of health care coverage took effect, and the governor said the framework of the law, which centers on replacing the fee for service model with a whole person care system, can also be seen as a national sample.

“Just as we were a model for universal coverage, we’re going to be the place that cracks the code on cost control. We’re going to get this right and we know that the whole country is watching,” Patrick said.