Voters in Massachusetts have given our overwhelming support to a governor-elect who stresses sense of community and the need to care about each other's dreams and aspirations as well as our own. It's a message we've clearly been hungering for after the bitter, negative, partisan politics that Karl Rove and the Bush administration have brought to the national arena these past six years.
Deval Patrick has shown that it's possible to succeed without, as he so eloquently puts it, building himself up by tearing others down.
He resisted negative-sound-bite campaigning. He refused to try to pump up one slice of support by demonizing another. He was gracious, inclusive and inspiring in his victory speech - as he's been throughout the campaign. He talked about nurturing the "grass roots," about the importance of listening to people, and about putting our cynicism aside. And he talked about the need for citizens to actually make an effort and do work in order to have good government. Before he even takes office, Deval Patrick has changed our political landscape for the better by the tone he's set and the way he's conducted himself.
Leadership is more than a checklist of issues. It's also how you use your position to frame issues and conduct debate. It's whether and how you inspire people. I'm proud to have volunteered for Deval Patrick before the primary and again for the general election, and thrilled that Massachusetts voters gave him such a clear mandate. I'm looking forward to Governor Deval Patrick in January!