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From the South Side to the Statehouse

Deval Patrick the man, the campaign, and the history-making election. In this one hour special, we explore his place on the national stage alongside Illinois Senator and presidential candidate, Barack Obama. Governor Deval Patrick, African-American politicians, and the new politics of race.Massachusetts, the state that brought you the Revolutionary War, the oldest written constitution in the world, two Presidents Adams, The Kennedys, Michael Dukakis, John Kerry and the Big Dig. It was also the first state to abolish slavery, and elect an African-American senator: Edward Brooke in 1966. Yet, Boston was the setting for busing-induced racial violence in the 1970s. Recently, it became the only state to legalize same-sex marriage. It's no understatement to say Massachusetts has a storied political and racial history.

It is also the state that inaugurated the nation's second African American governor since reconstruction. The man at the center of this historical event, Deval Patrick, broke through the barrier in no uncertain terms. In one fell swoop, he and his grassroots network toppled a 16-year Republican reign in the Massachusetts State House, and have charted a course to transform politics as usual in Massachusetts.

On November 7, 2006, an anti-Iraq, anti-incumbent, and largely anti-Republican political wave swept across the nation. This raises some questions about Patrick's election. What is his mandate? Where does he fit in the national context, and at a time when Barack Obama is front page news, where does Patrick stand in the national political landscape?

This program aired on February 23, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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