Monday, May 02, 2005

Romney Praises Patrick, Confuses Blogger

Buried in the coverage of the fallout from Romney's death penalty bill, the Herald reports the following:

While blasting Reilly, Romney said he respected the criticism of Democratic candidate Deval Patrick, calling it a "principled position" not based in politics.
This is the second time that the governor has gone out of his way to bring up Deval Patrick, though this is the first time Romney has had kind words for his potential rival. It seems strange that the governor would go on the record as praising someone he has a nonzero chance of meeting in the general election. The ultimate goal, I suppose, is to ensure a competetive, expensive and divisive Democratic primary by pumping up the underdog. At least when Romney blasted Patrick on taxes, it made sense because the Republicans need to have the campaign theme of lower-taxes in order to win elections in Massachusetts.

The only other explaination is that Romney just really likes campaigning and he just can't help inserting himself in the Democratic primary. It makes just as much sense as anything else, and it's been clear for a while that he certainly doesn't like actually governing.

For the record, Patrick was not as kind to the governor, having this to say:
"Unlike Gov. Romney," Patrick said in a prepared statement. "I am quite familiar with the death penalty and know from my experience in the courts and in President Clinton's Justice Department that it cannot be made to work. The death penalty can never be made foolproof, it is not a deterrent and the huge costs incurred in capital proceedings divert resources away from actually fighting and prosecuting crime. In truth, Mitt Romney has a dismal record on crime: the state crime lab is too backlogged on evidence testing, a medical examiner's office in chaos, and massive police and public safety personnel cutbacks all across the commonwealth."