• Patrick, speaking to National Public Radio (NPR) in December 2005: “The state is slipping behind, and I’m persuaded that the same old thing from the same insiders is not going to help.”
• Obama in a January 9 speech in Jersey City: “[D]o you want the same old folks out there doing the same old things? We need someone new.”
Both say they’re leading movements — and minimize the hubris of this claim by crediting their supporters.
• Patrick in his November 7, 2006, victory speech: “You are the ones who transformed this from a political campaign to a movement for change, and I am honored and awed by what you have done.”
• Obama speaking with reporters after his victory in the Iowa caucuses: “I think [Iowa voters] sparked a potential movement for change in the country that will be inspiring for a lot of people.”
Both practice an existential brand of politics.
• Patrick in an October 2006 speech on Boston Common, where he hammered Republican candidate Kerry Healey for a controversial ad linking Patrick to a convicted rapist: “Hers is a politics of fear. Ours is a politics of hope.”
• Obama in April 2007, responding to Republican Rudy Giuliani’s suggestion that America will suffer another big terrorist attack if a Democrat wins in 2008: “Rudy Giuliani today has taken the politics of fear to a new low, and I believe Americans are ready to reject those kind of politics.”
Both leaven their optimistic tone by emphasizing the need for hard work.
• Patrick in a 2006 TV spot: “[M]y grandmother had a saying, ‘Hope for the best and work for it.’ That fundamentally is what I’m asking you to do now.”
• Obama in his official campaign kickoff speech in February 2007: “[I]t won’t be easy . . . Let us begin this hard work together. Let us transform this nation.”
Both appeal to conservatives by stressing that government isn’t a panacea.
• Patrick speaking to NPR in 2005: “There is a much more negative, much more hurtful vision of government that has been spreading. Not the vision that government can do everything for everyone — nobody believes that — but the vision that government is bad, rather than government is us.”
• Obama addressing the Democratic National Convention in 2004: “The people I meet in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks, they don’t expect government to solve all their problems.”
Both insist that disagreement shouldn’t preclude cooperation.
• Patrick addressing a church audience in Springfield in 2006: “In politics, we need to get past this point where the view is, ‘Unless we agree on everything, we can’t work together on anything.’ ”
• Obama addressing supporters in Nashua, New Hampshire, prior to that state’s primary, quoted by the St. Petersburg Times: “You don’t have to agree on everything to agree on some things.”
Both temper their tendencies toward political messianism with winning self-deprecation.
• Patrick in an October 2006 candidates’ debate: “I don’t have all the answers. No candidate does.”
• Obama in a September 2005 message to readers of dailykos.com. “Let me end by saying I don’t pretend to have all the answers to the challenges we face.”