Thursday, November 16, 2006

Is it "substance" yet?

The unusually honest Democrat Joan Vennochi writes of our Governor-elect:

Facing the press after a Monday meeting with [House Speaker] Travaglini and [Senate President] DiMasi, Patrick said, "I'm not going to talk about substance," when asked what the three discussed. In that spirit, he revealed no details of their conversation and stuck with the general kumbaya goals of his campaign, such as team-building.

“Team building”. How touching. Maybe the 3 of them had a little encounter group session. Why are the a-----e Boston Globe reporter questions missing now, I wonder?

But sooner or later, Patrick will have to go beyond the "sweet nothings" that opponent Christy Mihos aptly described during one debate. Sooner or later, his priorities will bump up against legislative priorities. Sooner or later, Travaglini and DiMasi will test the depth of Patrick's popularity against their parallel universe -- the power base that resides in a state Legislature they are used to controlling.

It might have been wise of the Healy campaign to try to draw Patrick to speak on some point of substance before the election (but that is hindsight). Later Joan continues:

A first test involves the $425 million emergency state funding freeze implemented by Governor Mitt Romney. Romney's cuts eliminated money for human service providers as well as for programs for the young, elderly, and homeless. They were blasted by Mayor Thomas Menino, who represents another piece of the political puzzle confronting Patrick.

After the meeting with Travaglini and DiMasi, Patrick said he made no commitments to restore any of the $425 million in spending cuts, saying, "I'm informed not just by the math, but by the impact on real people's lives."

Again, those are nice words -- "poetry" as Grace Ross, the Green-Rainbow party candidate, labeled Patrick's rhetoric during the campaign. But at some point, Patrick must make choices that involve money, not verse.

Indeed, he will have to make some choices, and nobody has any idea what they might be. But when he does, the folks who was elected him Governor on no platform except the slogan “Togther We Can” will find out what the rest of that slogan is. They will have no grounds for complaint, whatever it turns out to be.


John Sheehan said...

Hey Harry,

My copy of the Globe must have been missing some pages.....not a mention of the Murtha - Pelosi - Hoyer flap. Weird.


Harry said...

I am out of town and can't see the paper copy, John, but I think you were fooled by the headline writer, who focused the headline on the Republican embarrassment of the day. Look here.