(CNN) - Incumbent Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick received some help Saturday from the most powerful Democrat in the country: President Barack Obama.
"The reason I came today isn't just because Deval has been there for me as a friend, but because he continues to inspire me as a leader at a time when too many folks bow to the politics of the moment," Obama said at a campaign rally for Patrick in Boston. "He represents the politics of conscience and conviction in an age of too much cynicism."
Obama admitted that he's sometimes on his Blackberry backstage when he attends events for candidates, but "when Deval speaks, I listen."
Boston (CNN) – As President Obama was pumping up thousands at a rally for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, hecklers interrupted his remarks.
A press pool producer inside the Hynes Convention Center said the protesters held up a banner that read "Keep the Promise" as they chanted.
Another sign read "Fight Global Aids."
(CNN) – Nineteen days before the election Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts holds a seven point advantage over Republican challenger Charlie Baker according to a new poll
A Suffolk University/7 News survey released Thursday indicates that 46 percent of likely voters in Massachusetts support Patrick, with 39 percent backing Baker, one in ten supporting Tim Cahill, the state treasurer and former Democrat who's running as an independent, and four percent undecided.
"It's unseemly, to use a tactful term, to see so many people – so many people in office – sit on the sidelines and root for failure," Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Massachusetts, said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union. "I think most Americans, no matter what their political background or political party affiliation if they have one, want their president to succeed."
Obama "does not pretend to have all the answers" and has solicited policy ideas from Republicans, Patrick said.
"I think that the American people are going to hold accountable those who simply sit on the sidelines and root for failure," Patrick said. "We can't afford that anymore."
Patrick also said that, in his view, Obama has focused on the issues that matter to the public: health care, job creation, and the economic pain that has gripped the country since late 2008.
Washington (CNN) – The partisan gridlock gripping Washington endangers already fragile state budgets nationwide, two governors said Sunday.
"We really need Washington to come together, to work on a bipartisan basis and get us out of this," Gov. Jim Douglas, R-Vermont, said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.
The states are scrambling to fill big fiscal holes for fiscal year 2011, which for most starts on July 1, and face combined budget gaps of $134 billion over the next three years, according to a report released Saturday by the National Governors Association.
"States foresee fiscal year 2011 … to be the most difficult to date, and few see fiscal year 2012 much better," the report stated.
The outlook is made worse by a lack of certainty coming from Washington about how much financial support states can expect from the federal government.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new poll suggests that that just three in 10 Massachusetts voters think Gov. Deval Patrick deserves to be re-elected next year, but dissatisfaction with Patrick as governor does not translate into support for a Republican replacement in next year's general election.
Twenty-nine percent of people questioned in a WHDH-TV/Suffolk University survey released Wednesday said Patrick should be re-elected to a second term in 2010, while 56 percent said it's time to elect someone else as Massachusetts governor. Fifteen percent are undecided.
The poll's release came one day before Patrick announced that Paul Kirk would serve as a temporary replacement for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
The survey indicated that Democrats are split over whether Patrick deserves to be re-elected. Three out of four Republicans and six out of 10 Independents say it's time to elect someone else.
According to the poll, 42 percent approved of how Patrick's handling his duties as governor, and 49 percent said they disapprove of how he's doing his job.
But a majority of those questioned, 54 percent, said Massachusetts would not be better off with a Republican as governor, while 35 percent disagreed. And the survey indicated that Patrick leads possible challengers in hypothetical election match ups.
The WHDH-TV/Suffolk University poll was conducted September 12-15, with 500 registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
Updated: 4:52 p.m.
(CNN) - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will announce an interim replacement Thursday for the U.S. Senate seat left open by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, and hours before the announcement, two Democratic sources, one of whom is close the Kennedy family, tell CNN that Patrick has picked Paul Kirk.
Wednesday two Kennedy family associates told CNN that Kirk, a longtime senior aide to the late Sen. Kennedy and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is the family's favorite to fill his vacant Senate seat – and that the late senator's sons have relayed this view to Patrick. One source said the late senator's widow, Vicki Kennedy, was among the family members supporting a Kirk appointment.
The announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET at the State House in Boston.
The appointment would give Democrats a crucial 60th vote in the Senate as the chamber weighs President Barack Obama's health care proposal.
The measure, which Wednesday afternoon passed the Massachusetts House and Senate,
would not go into effect for 90 days - a period that ends just a month before the scheduled special election for a permanent successor to complete the remainder of Kennedy's Senate term– unless two-thirds of the state House voted to bypass the delay and enact the measure immediately.
Democrats fell just short of that mark, with a final state House vote of 95-59. But Patrick also has the power to declare an emergency, which would allow the provision to go into effect right away.
(CNN) - Massachusetts lawmakers have voted to approve a measure that would give Gov. Deval Patrick the power to appoint an interim replacement for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy until a new election can be held - but it's still too soon for the bill's backers to claim victory.
The measure, which Wednesday afternoon passed the Massachusetts House and Senate, would not go into effect for 90 days - a period that ends just a month before the scheduled special election for a permanent successor to complete the remainder of Kennedy's Senate term - unless two-thirds of the state House voted to bypass the delay and enact the measure immediately.
Democrats have fallen just short of that mark, with a final state House vote of 95-59.
Patrick also has the power to declare an emergency, which would allow the provision to go into effect right away. An immediate appointment would give Democrats a crucial 60th vote in the U.S. Senate as the chamber weighs President Obama's health care proposal.
(CNN) – Beset by a sinking approval rating and an ongoing budget crisis, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is facing a gubernatorial challenge from a former member of his own party.
State Treasurer Timothy Cahill announced Wednesday he will formally challenge the one-term governor as an independent candidate next year, a move that could set up a civil-war of sorts in the state's Democratic Party.
"I do not enter this race to run against any individual or party," Cahill said in an official announcement speech in Boston. "Instead I run because I believe we need new leadership to make Massachusetts a vibrant place once again."
Patrick, a Harvard-educated lawyer and former member of the Clinton Justice Department, was elected overwhelmingly in 2006 but has since seen his poll numbers sputter after a series of controversies and the ongoing decline of his state's economy.
A Boston Globe survey earlier this summer put Patrick's approval rating at 35 percent, the lowest in his three-year tenure.
(CNN) - Two Massachusetts political sources say the Joint Elections Committee in the state legislature plans to hear a Senate succession
bill in just a week and a half.
The decision to consider the measure on September 9, just after lawmakers return from break, highlights the growing momentum to pass a change allowing the appointment of an interim senator to fill the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat until a special election can be held to replace him.
Monday afternoon, Gov. Deval Patrick announced a new vote to fill the seat would take place on January 19.
One source close to the Kennedy family said former Rep. Joe Kennedy, whose name has been mentioned as a possible replacement for his uncle, is not eager for the job.
"Joe is reluctant," said the source. "The question is, does the pressure rise to a point where he feels he has to do it? Things here are too new to be able to answer that."