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Mass. Gov. Returns From Middle East War Zone Tour

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has returned to Boston after spending several days last week touring Middle East war zones with four other governors.

At Logan Airport Sunday night, the governor looked relaxed in a baseball cap and short-sleeved shirt. He wanted to share his impressions of the region with waiting reporters. "There really is no preparation for how appalling the violence is," Patrick said.

But the governor was soon reminded of the political realities on Beacon Hill, where the Legislature has only until Saturday to pass a bill legalizing gambling in the state. Patrick said compromise is doable.

"I'm looking forward to spending some time with the speaker and the Senate president, as my staff has with theirs while I've been away, to see if we can't come to a final compromise," Patrick said.

Patrick had kind words for both Senate President Therese Murray and Speaker Robert DeLeo, who disagree on whether a bill should allow slot machines at the state's existing racetracks.

"The speaker is concerned about preserving jobs that exist today at the racetracks, and he's right. The Senate president is concerned about creating sustainable jobs at high wages and benefits, and she's right," Patrick said.

Patrick says slot machines won't meet either of those concerns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This program aired on July 26, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reports on politics and higher education for WBUR.

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