BOSTON (State House News Service) – Gov. Deval Patrick veered from his standard line about his political future over the weekend, telling a news outlet during a trip to Washington D.C. that he might run for president sometime in the future.
To seek the nation’s highest office, Patrick said he would need to convince his wife Diane.
“That’s a decision I have to make along with my wife of 30 years and she’s a tough one to convince,” Patrick told Politico, a website and newspaper. He said, “Let’s just see what time tells.”
Patrick has repeatedly deflected questions of presidential ambitions to his home-state media, barely conceding the potentiality in a radio interview after his daughter Katherine said she wouldn’t “rule out” a run during a forum with the governor in the District.
“Look, I’m not going to – maybe. But listen, I’m not making any news. I’m saying the same thing I’ve ever always said,” Patrick told Boston Public Radio co-hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan last September. “I am going to finish the job I have and I am loving it, and when I finish the job I have, I am going to find a job in the private sector. And I hope there will come a time sometime later in life when I have something else I can contribute to public life, and when that time comes, we’ll see.”
Politico asked Patrick if he could see himself as a national candidate at some unspecified point in the future, and Patrick said, “Maybe. Maybe.”
The governor, who is attending the National Governors Association winter meetings, has this year faced calls from legislators to seek the resignation of the commission of the Department of Children and Families, and dealt with concerns over malfunctioning websites used by residents to sign up for health insurance and jobless benefits.
Asked during a WBZ-TV radio interview over the weekend whether Patrick was running out of gas, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he didn’t think so, citing Patrick’s aspirations for education and transportation.
“I think he intends to push forward with his agenda. So I see him as engaged as ever,” said DeLeo, who famously clashed with Patrick over casinos and tax increases but has mostly seen eye to eye with his fellow Democrat.
A former top official for Coca Cola and Texaco who has said he is eager to return to private sector salaries, Patrick told Politico a return to private life could benefit his future in public service.
“I’d like to have another opportunity to serve. I believe in service. I enjoy it,” Patrick said. “I also like coming and going, you know, because I think that my private-sector life has contributed to how I think about public-sector challenges and what I do in the public sector.”
The office of governor has provided a launching pad for many candidates for president, including former Massachusetts Govs. Michael Dukakis and Mitt Romney.
John Walsh, who helped coordinate Patrick’s successful run for governor in 2006 before going on to run the state Democratic Party, stepped down from his party post last year to run Patrick’s federal political action committee.
Patrick planned a fundraiser during his weekend trip to Washington D.C., according to a political aide. The governor and his wife are heading from Washington to Costa Rica Tuesday morning for a vacation.
[Michael Norton contributed reporting]