President Obama and some of his advisers have been pushing former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to run for president in 2020, it was revealed on Tuesday.
According to Politico, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett are two of the Obama alums urging the 61-year-old Patrick to consider a White House bid.
Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest White House advisers, told Politico that a Patrick presidential bid is what “my heart desires.”
“He has the ability to touch people’s hearts as well as their minds,” Jarrett said recently. “I think our country is ready for that now — let alone in three years.”
“He’s kind of a natural to look at because he was a successful governor, he is an inspiring guy, and you have to ask yourself what is the country going to be looking for in their next president after this guy?” said Axelrod, who has advised Patrick in the past.
A Patrick presidential bid could cause a dilemma for Obama White House alums as former Vice President Joe Biden appears interested in running in 2020.
Biden, who has expressed regret over not running in 2016, remains popular among former Obama staffers. But the former Delaware senator’s age — he would be 77 years old on Election Day 2020 — is considered one barrier to entry.
But one senior Obama White House aide said that only two people — Biden and Patrick — would do well in a straw presidential poll taken among Obama alumni.
“The center of gravity would really shift in [Patrick’s] direction in Obamaworld if he were to decide to run,” one former top Obama White House official told Politico.
As Politico notes, Obama and Patrick have had a relationship for 20 years. The pair have advised each other on political decisions and traded endorsements throughout the years, and Patrick is the only politician on the board of the Obama Foundation.
As is normal of potential candidates so far ahead of the election, Patrick avoided the subject of his political future.
“I’m trying to think about how to be helpful, because I care about the country, and I’m a patriot first. It’s way, way too soon to be making plans for 2020,” Patrick told Politico in an interview for its “Off Message” podcast.
“So I’ll just leave it at that,” he said, adding: “I have no plans to make plans.”