Healey's Hail Mary

Trailing in the polls, will the LG try an "October Surprise" of her own?
By ADAM REILLY  |  October 4, 2006

In the Massachusetts governor’s race, it’s looking like Republican nominee and Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey will need a doozy of an October surprise to catch Democratic nominee Deval Patrick, who’s running far ahead of the LG in every poll taken to date.

So what might Healey try? Look for Patrick’s time at the US Department of Justice (DOJ), where he headed civil-rights enforcement for then-president Bill Clinton, to get some serious scrutiny — especially aspects of his résumé that bring race into the equation and, as an added plus, remind people Patrick is African-American. For example, a poster on the liberal, pro-Patrick blog Blue Mass Group has already reported receiving an automated phone poll that posed this question: “When working for the US government, Deval Patrick got two cop-killers off the hook. Would that make you more or less likely to vote for him?” (As an NAACP Legal Defense Fund attorney, Patrick got one man convicted of killing a police officer off death row and fought unsuccessfully to do the same for another.) Meanwhile, liberal blogger Sam Seidel reported receiving another automated poll that asked: “If you knew that Deval Patrick had been referred to as a ‘quota king’ in one of his previous jobs, would this impact your view of the candidate?” (During his time at the DOJ, Patrick was a steadfast defender of affirmative action; anti-affirmative-action crusader Clint Bolick seems to have created the label in question.)

Of course, “push polls” — which focus on changing the perception of a given candidate rather than soliciting information — are used by candidates of all ideological stripes. And Healey is trailing so badly that she probably needs something more dramatic. As the election approaches, look for the LG to hold a press conference or two aimed at putting a human face on Patrick’s allegedly flawed past. One possibility: get Sharon Taxman, a white teacher who was fired from the Piscataway, New Jersey, public schools during a budget crunch while another teacher, Debra Williams — who is African-American, was hired on the same day as Taxman, and taught the same subject (business skills) — was retained. As the DOJ’s civil-rights chief, Patrick backed Williams’s retention; playing this up could increase Healey’s Angry White Male vote.
  Topics: Talking Politics , Deval Patrick, U.S. Government, U.S. State Government,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY ADAM REILLY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BULLY FOR BU!  |  March 12, 2010
    After six years at the Phoenix , I recently got my first pre-emptive libel threat. It came, most unexpectedly, from an investigative reporter. And beyond the fact that this struck me as a blatant attempt at intimidation, it demonstrated how tricky journalism's new, collaboration-driven future could be.
  •   STOP THE QUINN-SANITY!  |  March 03, 2010
    The year is still young, but when the time comes to look back at 2010's media lowlights, the embarrassing demise of Sally Quinn's Washington Post column, "The Party," will almost certainly rank near the top of the list.
  •   RIGHT CLICK  |  February 19, 2010
    Back in February 2007, a few months after a political neophyte named Deval Patrick cruised to victory in the Massachusetts governor's race with help from a political blog named Blue Mass Group (BMG) — which whipped up pro-Patrick sentiment while aggressively rebutting the governor-to-be's critics — I sized up a recent conservative entry in the local blogosphere.
  •   RANSOM NOTES  |  February 12, 2010
    While reporting from Afghanistan two years ago, David Rohde became, for the second time in his career, an unwilling participant rather than an observer. On October 29, 1995, Rohde had been arrested by Bosnian Serbs. And then in November 2008, Rohde and two Afghan colleagues were en route to an interview with a Taliban commander when they were kidnapped.
  •   POOR RECEPTION  |  February 08, 2010
    The right loves to rant against the "liberal-media elite," but there's one key media sector where the conservative id reigns supreme: talk radio.

 See all articles by: ADAM REILLY