Governor Deval Patrick’s visit to Chelsea Monday was a tour de force.
He enjoyed himself here.
We enjoyed having him here.
Everywhere he went, he was greeted as a friend, as he should be greeted in Chelsea.
After all, he understands the struggle against poverty and the need for education and social services.
He is a true Democrat at a time when Democrats are being assaulted by the right – but assaulted also by the bad economy.
The difference between Patrick coming here Monday and being here four years ago when he first ran is that there is major discontent with voters.
There is also little faith left in Massachusetts government and not much faith in the economy or in the government’s ability to make things right.
Fighting these demons is what Patrick’s campaign will be all about.
He will not ride a wave as he did when he first ran.
Senator-elect Scott Brown just rode that wave – but that was a different wave not based on hope or slogans like, “Yes we can.”
Brown’s mantra was a Chevrolet flat bed truck. His campaign strategy was a slogan: “Hi, I’m Scott Brown. This is my truck…”
We hate to say it, but unless the governor understands this, he will be campaigning in a vacuum at a time when the electorate is looking for something better than what government and the economy has been able to dish up during the past year.
The governor’s visit here was classic. He met hundreds who came out to greet him. He was personable and compelling in such a milieu.
This visit to Chelsea must have been heartening to him.
He left on the 111 bus for the ride into Boston. This too, speaks to the core of the man.
The question is, can the governor meet enough people personally by November to sweep back into office or will Charlie Baker or Tim Cahill make him a memory because so many voters are bent out of shape by the economy?