Unity Rally in Roslindale

Massachusetts held its primary election yesterday and strangely enough, my preferred candidate for governor, Deval Patrick, won overwhelmingly, by a nearly two to one margin over both of his competitors.

In past years, the primary election has been followed by a “unity breakfast” the next morning so all the losing candidates can pledge fealty to the winner. As the breakfast has become a tired tradition identified with “old politics,” they did away with it this year (perhaps at Deval’s urging). Instead, again to my surprise, they held a unity rally about a block away from my house in Adams Park (no relation) in Roslindale.

Deval was introduced by Boston Mayor Menino, a politican who has somehow turned a complete lack of public speaking skills into an asset:

Deval’s speech was pretty great. A little something for everyone, and genuinely engaging. I attempted to record it on my pocket MP3 player, but apparently I ran out of batteries early on so it’s not worth posting.

Although Deval has been cast as the furthest left of the candidates, I was struck by his extremely moderate position on most issues. (Standardized testing: good, but needs improvement; economics: need to have several bottom lines, including a profit bottom line and a people bottom line; personal responsibility needs to be balanced with societal responsibility; etc..)

Anyway, the crowd loved it:

Apparently there was no experienced political handler present to orchestrate this event. Deval’s charismatic speech was followed by several less important and less eloquent speakers. Usually, you would want to build up from worst to best. In any event, Chris Gabrieli, the second place finisher, has rebounded instantly and was up there committing to work every day until November on getting Deval elected — I won’t be surprised if Gabrieli ends up in a development-czar role in a Patrick administration. The last place finisher (and original frontrunner) Tom Reilly was nowhere to be seen, a fact that I’m sure will be prominent in tomorrow’s reporting on the event. Where’s the unity without the Attorney General?

Everyone’s bracing for a horrid onslaught of fear-mongering campaign ads from the Republicans. My hope is that Massachusetts citizens are a bit wiser than the rest of the country and it will backfire. I won’t hold my breath, however.

(As a side benefit, I finally met Adam Gaffin, universalhubmeister, for the first time, as well as his eight year old daughter Greta. Greta is now famous for rejecting Deval Patrick’s plan for longer school days.)

Princeton v. Diebold