Former President Barack Obama’s inner circle is encouraging Deval Patrick, a former Massachusetts governor, to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, according to Politico’s Off Message podcast.
Patrick as president is what "my heart desires," according to Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett in Politico.
Obama’s circle sees Patrick as a top contender alongside former Vice President Joe Biden. "If you were to poll 100 notable alumni, the only two people who would win that 2020 straw poll right now are Biden and Patrick," a former senior White House aide told Politico.
"The center of gravity would really shift in his direction in Obamaworld if he were to decide to run," said another former official from Obama’s White House tenure, according to Politico.
Obama himself has discussed the matter with Patrick, and has "privately encouraged him to think about it," Politico reported.
Patrick said on the podcast that it was too early to make such a decision. “I’m trying to think about how to be helpful, because I care about the country, and I’m a patriot first. It’s way, way too soon to be making plans for 2020… so I’ll just leave it at that,” Patrick said.
"I have no plans to make plans," said Patrick, who now manages a social impact fund at Bain Capital, according to Politico.
Patrick’s former campaign manager John Walsh echoed Patrick’s statements, saying he has no plans to run. "At a time like this, you hope there are people who have some of Deval Patrick’s motivations and skills that are thinking about public service, but from my interactions with him, elected office is not his career," Walsh said in Politico.
However, Patrick does have some criticism for President Donald Trump. "The president, I believe, is at risk of diminishing the voice of the presidency because he pops off so often, and so, kind of, carelessly. I think there is a risk both domestically, and internationally for that matter, that we’ll begin to tune him out," Patrick said on the podcast.
Democrats must focus on the future, Patrick said. "We can’t be just about what we’re against. We have to be about what we’re for… We have done it in the past, and we can do it again," he said on the podcast.
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