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Deval Patrick: 'I've Wanted To Be In From The Beginning'04:53
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The impeachment hearing dropped a new bombshell, and the 2020 Democratic presidential field grew by one former Massachusetts governor.

That was just in the last 24 hours:

Deval, All In

New Democratic presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick campaigns Thursday at The Bridge Cafe in Manchester, N.H. (Charles Krupa/AP)
New Democratic presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick campaigns Thursday at The Bridge Cafe in Manchester, N.H. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Former Gov. Deval Patrick talked to me soon after filing in New Hampshire Thursday afternoon, becoming an official candidate in the 2020 contest.

You can listen to the conversation at the audio player next to this story's headline, and here are four highlights:

1. On why he’s in it now, when he ruled it out a year ago: “I’ve wanted to be in from the beginning. [But] just this time last year [my wife] Diane was diagnosed with uterine cancer, and that had to be my and our family’s first priority.” They celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in May, and Diane is now cancer free.

"I think the other factor is, as great and broad and deep and talented as the field has been out there, we have this tension between a strategy that feels a little nostalgic [and] a nicer, more progressive version of the my-way-or-no-way leadership that we have right now.”

2. On criticism of his defense of capitalism and his work for Bain Capital and Ameriquest: “I want to just say as a capitalist that capitalism and business has a lot to answer for. [But] again, there are perspectives and experiences and understandings about how the private economy works that are enormously important to anybody who wants to govern.”

3. On race, and how he will appeal to voters of color: “People need to feel seen and heard and respected, and they need to be convinced that you’re going to pay attention to them, not just for purposes of being elected, but in between campaigns.”

4. On gun control, in light of Thursday’s deadly school shooting in California: “At a minimum we need an assault weapons ban, we need a national regulation strategy. We need rules around the transfer of guns at gun shows and various loopholes that exist. I am open to other ideas, but it’s crazy to me that time after time, mass shooting after mass shooting, we seem to put the interests of the gun lobby over the safety of our kids.”

Meanwhile, another former Bay State governor who is in the presidential race — Republican Bill Weld — welcomed Patrick to the contest.

"While our focus is obviously on the Republican primary, it's great to have our state well-represented in the presidential race,” Weld spokesman Joe Hunter told me. “Deval's interest is yet another indication of Donald Trump's vulnerability."

Trahan: Impeachment Hearing Raises Big Questions For Sondland

Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill Wednesday, during the first public impeachment hearing of President Trump. (Alex Brandon/AP)
Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill Wednesday, during the first public impeachment hearing of President Trump. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Rep. Lori Trahan told me Thursday that the revelation that President Trump was overheard in a phone call with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, asking about Ukrainian “investigations” makes Sondland’s scheduled public testimony next week even more crucial.

That conversation was described Wednesday by the acting boss of the U.S. diplomatic mission in the Ukraine, William Taylor — a witness Trahan called a “patriot.”

“I think it creates a whole new level of question [for Sondland] as we prepare for next week,” Trahan said. Sondland is scheduled to appear in a public hearing next Wednesday.

Not every lawmaker was transfixed by the testimony of Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent.

Several Republicans, including Utah U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, planned to skip the testimony. Romney told KUTV he would wait until a Senate trial to consider the testimony. Romney previously said he’d keep “a completely open mind” on impeachment. Romney’s office did not respond to my inquiry Thursday asking whether he in fact caught any of Wednesday's hearing.

“I think this is an important process for everyone to tune into,” Trahan said. “This should not be a partisan process. This isn’t about about Republicans or Democrats.”

Pressley Files Criminal Justice Overhaul Legislation

U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., addresses a crowd during an event in Boston on July 21. (Steven Senne/AP)
U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., addresses a crowd during an event in Boston on July 21. (Steven Senne/AP)

Rep. Ayanna Pressley on Thursday filed a bill she says lays the foundation to overhaul the criminal justice system, which she calls “racist, xenophobic, rogue and fundamentally flawed beyond reform.”

The resolution, called the “People’s Justice Guarantee,” focuses on decriminalization efforts to reduce the prison population, prioritizing rehabilitation over punishment for those incarcerated, and creating paths to reintegration upon release.

“When one out of every four [incarcerated] people in the world are locked away in cages in America — most of whom are black and brown — it becomes our moral obligation to do something,” Pressley said.

The resolution was created in consultation with more than 20 grassroots and advocacy organizations and is endorsed by the ACLU, National Immigrant Law Center, Black and Pink Boston and other groups.

3 More Things:

Warren’s mug shot: As members of the 1% complain about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax — investor Leon Cooperman said "she's disgraceful,” and Bill Gates lamented Warren’s unwillingness  “to sit down with somebody ... who has large amounts of money” — the senator is drinking it all in. This week her campaign began selling “Billionaires’ Tears” mugs.

Celtics star goes to Washington: Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter was on Capitol Hill this week as members of Congress introduced legislation vowing U.S. support for democracy and peace in his native Turkey.

Kanter was hosted by lawmakers including Rep. Seth Moulton and Sen. Ed Markey, who is a cosponsor of the Turkey Human Rights Promotion Act, which denounces abuses by Turkish counter-terrorism authorities and calls on the U.S. to provide assistance to civil society organizations in Turkey.

Kanter's visit coincided with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s trip to the White House. Kanter has been a vocal critic of Erdoğan.

Markey denounces Weymouth compressor approval: Markey blasted the approval of a final state certificate needed to allow the Canadian energy company Enbridge to build a natural gas compressor station in Weymouth.

In a statement, Markey said the “the fight to stop this project is not over," and that he supports opponents in any future court battles to prevent construction.


ON MY RADAR:

— "She’s not a liberal icon like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but, through her powers of persuasion, Elena Kagan is the key justice holding back the Supreme Court’s rightward shift." (The New Yorker)

— Weld, filing for New Hampshire primary, looks to the late John McCain for inspiration for his insurgent campaign. (WMUR)

— Can Bernie Sanders Fix America’s Broken Anti-Semitism Conversation? (Tablet Magazine)


QUOTATION OF THE WEEK

"It sort of goes without saying that beating the incumbent president is job one. But if all we do is beat him and either go back to what we used to do, or leave in place an electorate that is just as divided as it was before the president, I’m not sure we have done all that we can to take full advantage of the moment."

Patrick, telling me why his campaign will not be focused solely on Trump

WHERE'S WARREN?

A look at where the senator’s presidential campaign is taking her next:

Fresh off a swing through New Hampshire this week to file for the ballot there, Warren will travel to Iowa this weekend for events in Waverly and Cedar Rapids. Then she heads to Nevada for a town hall in North Las Vegas and the Nevada Democratic Party “First in the West” dinner Sunday.


PARTING SHOT

Have you heard about New Hampshire's new residency law? It's creating confusion, and has led to charges of voter suppression. My colleague Anthony Brooks explains here.

This segment aired on November 14, 2019.

Kimberly Atkins Twitter Senior News Correspondent
Kimberly Atkins is a senior news correspondent for WBUR, covering national political news from Washington, D.C., with a New England focus.

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