Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Saturday at the California Democratic Party’s Fall Endorsing Convention he is “running to be president of the United States,” not just “president of the Democrats.”
“There’s a difference,” Patrick said at the Long Beach Arena, two days after declaring his candidacy. “I’m not talking about a moderate agenda — the times demand much more than that.
“I’m talking about being `woke’ while leaving room for the still waking. I’m talking about what it takes to rebuild a national community.”
Patrick also explained that he is a Democrat because “Democrats believe that the American experiment is deeply invested in aspiration and basic justice.”
“Democrats are winning all over America today, I believe, because Democrats have finally started to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe,” Patrick said.
“That’s the kind of party I want to see. That’s the kind of party these dark times require. That’s why I am running for president.”
Patrick was among four Democratic presidential candidates who spoke during a morning session Saturday.
Author Marianne Williamson, former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney spoke at the morning session because they were not among the 10 candidates invited to participate in the “Real America” candidate forum Saturday afternoon because they did not rank high enough in polling.
Patrick announced his candidacy Thursday, releasing an approximately 2 1/2-minute video that began by Patrick recounting how he grew up on the south side of Chicago, living with his grandparents, mother and sisters “in a two-bedroom tenement, some of that time on welfare.”
“My grandmother used to tell us we were not poor just broke, because broke, she said is temporary,” Patrick said.
Patrick graduated from the Milton Academy, a Massachusetts boarding school, Harvard University and the Harvard Law School.
After graduating from law school in 1982, Patrick moved to Los Angeles to spend a year as a clerk for U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt.
Patrick was a staff attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund from 1983-86, then joined the Boston law firm Hill & Barlow, rising to partner before being appointed by President Bill Clinton as the assistant attorney general for civil rights in 1994.
Patrick left the Clinton administration in 1997 to become a partner with the Boston law firm Day, Berry & Howard LLP. He was vice president and general counsel of Texaco from 1999-2001 and executive vice president and general counsel of The Coca-Cola Co. from 2001-05.
He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.
He joined Bain Capital LLP in 2015 to start Bain Capital Double Impact, which the Boston-based investment firm describes as a fund that builds “great companies that deliver both competitive financial returns and measurable social and environmental good.”
“I’ve had a chance to live my American dream,” Patrick said on the video. “But over the years, I’ve seen the path to that dream gradually closing off bit by bit” but pledged as president to “build a better, more sustainable, more inclusive American dream for the next generation.”
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