Deval Patrick 2020 entrance could hurt Liz Warren – Boston Herald

Gov. Deval Patrick — whose 2012 endorsement rescued Elizabeth Warren’s early political career — could become a fatal factor in her 2020 New Hampshire presidential primary bid as the two-time governor has officially announced his own run.

“Oh, you know that he’s going to hurt her. He will hurt her in this race,” said Democratic political consultant Joyce Ferriabough Bolling, who hasn’t endorsed a Democrat in the crowded field. “He’s not going to win in New Hampshire, he’s just going to cut her back some. He will shave off some of her vote.”

Patrick isn’t angling for the ultra-left progressives currently backing Warren, and he took pains Thursday to point out their differences on “Medicare for All” and the wealth tax. But simple geography shows Patrick’s strongest backing is in neighboring New Hampshire, at least early in the race.

The Democratic field is already crowded, with Warren ranking as co-front-runner with former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) not too far behind. In a packed contest, even the smallest percentage of votes can mean the difference between a win or loss.

Patrick admitted Thursday that his conversation with Warren was, “kind of a hard phone call for both of us, frankly.”

His close political allies made up much of Warren’s 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate, and Patrick used his political capital to endorse Warren when questions about her proclaimed Native American heritage threatened that run.

During a June 2012 press conference, Patrick raced to grab the microphone when Warren was asked about contradictions and unanswered questions regarding her Native American self-identification.

“Let me say on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth, we don’t care about that subject,” Patrick answered for Warren in 2012. Warren then refused to answer additional questions on the matter.

“I defer to the governor on this one,” she said at the time.

The Cambridge Democrat has remained tight-lipped about Patrick’s 2020 run. She dismissed a suggestion that Patrick would complicate her bid, according to the Concord Monitor. She also declined to weigh in on Patrick’s work for the investment firm Bain Capital.

“I’m not here to criticize other Democrats. I’m here to talk about why I’m running for president,” Warren said while in Concord, N.H., Wednesday.

Still, some suggest that Patrick’s impact could hurt Warren even beyond the Granite State. His close friendship with former President Barack Obama and historic prominence as Massachusetts’ first black governor could draw strong support from African American voters across the country.

“We just don’t know how much of it he’ll draw,” said Bolling.

Warren has recently sought to win over black voters, an all-important group in the Democratic primary battle. And although Biden is considered a favorite to win African American voters, Patrick could draw from his backers.

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