Massachusetts’ governor explains his vote for Obama
In so-called battleground states, voters hear a lot from each candidate about why not to vote for the other guy. We get blessedly little of this in Massachusetts.
It’s not that we are so reliably Democratic. In fact, there are more independents in the commonwealth than registered Democrats and Republicans combined. It’s certainly not that Gov. Mitt Romney has a lock on the state he governed for four years.
It’s telling that he seems to have conceded the state that knows his record and his leadership most intimately.
At the end of it all, I am not voting against anyone in this race. I suspect a lot of other Americans want a reason to vote for a candidate than against one. I am voting for Barack Obama because he has the record, the vision and the courage to help us save the American dream.
His record is long, impressive and barely told.
»This is the president who delivered access to affordable health care to every American in every corner of the country after 90 years of trying.
»This is the president who saved the U.S. auto industry from extinction, the U.S. financial industry from selfdestruction and the U.S. economy from full-blown depression, adding 4.4 million private- sector jobs in the last 28 months— more than in eight years of George W. Bush’s administration.
»This is the president who strengthened laws demanding equal pay for equal work for women and has stood firm against the onslaught against a woman’s right to choose.
» This is the president who ended the policy of “don’t ask don’t tell,” so that love of country, not love of another, determines one’s fitness to serve.
»This is the president who brought Osama bin Laden to justice, ended the Iraq war, signed a pact with Russia to cut nuclear arms and increased global pressure on Iran.
»This is the president who, when the bottom was falling out of almost every state’s budget, helped us support our public schools, keep firefighters and police officers, and provide for the folks hardest hit by the recession.
»This is the president who partnered with states to rebuild roads and bridges, expand broadband to left-out communities and construct high-speed rail.
»This is the president who has increased support for our warriors, their families and veterans, got automakers to agree to nearly double fuel standards and tightened restrictions on mercury.
»This is the president who has cut taxes for small businesses and middle-class families , saving a typical family $3,600 over his term.
I could easily go on. The president’s record is even more impressive when you consider that he has governed in the face of Republican leaders who openly declare that unseating him (by denying him legislative victories) is their top priority.
I also appreciate this president’s vision— a vision about putting the American dream within reach of everyone.
The president believes that to strengthen the economy and reduce the national debt, we need growth. That comes from investment, not from cuts.
Every business leader understands this. The president alone has offered a plan.
That plan emphasizes education to prepare us for the economy and society of tomorrow, innovation to seize the edge in growth opportunities, energy to secure our independence and fuel our growth, and infrastructure to create the platform for everything else. It’s a vision based on expanding opportunity to the middle class, not just the wellconnected.
I am also voting for this president because of his courage. Officeholders are often more focused on getting and keeping their jobs than doing them. They will sometimes avoid the right decisions if they’re unpopular.
This president has shown backbone. He stood up to Wall Street on regulatory reform to end the kind of risk-taking that plunged the economy into crisis. He stood up to his party loyalists on everything from elements of the Recovery Act to health care reform. He stood up to tea party extremists in Congress on women’s health issues, stem cell research, gutting Medicare and Social Security, and otherwise shredding the social safety net.
That’s why I am voting for Barack Obama.
DEVAL L. PATRICK,
a Democrat, has been governor of Massachusetts since 2007. Contact: www.devalpatrick .com