Patrick-Obama Part I

by Dax-Devlon Ross

The Kindred Rise of Obama, Patrick

 BOSTON — Early in Deval Patrick’s run for governor, when few Massachusetts voters had heard of the maverick candidate with the odd first name, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama stopped by Cambridge for a class reunion at Harvard Law School.

Obama extolled the virtues of Patrick, a fellow Harvard Law School alum who, like Obama, faced better known and better financed opponents.

“He recognized that there was something very special about Deval and there were similarities in their experience,” said Cassandra Butts, an Obama classmate who attended the reunion. “He wanted to give Deval the chances that he didn’t have early on in his Senate race.”

As Obama campaigns for president and Patrick works to shake off a rocky start as governor, observers are seeing in the two old friends the new face of black political leadership — figures as comfortable in the boardroom as on the picket line who can appeal to large swathes of white voters.

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