Governor Pre-Inaugural Interview
The Hiller Instinct: Governor Pre-Inaugural Interview
Governor Patrick says, "I think it's that I appreciate better now, Andy, that four years is not a long time.
But it was long enough to change him:
Patrick: "Oh gracious, I am more patient about some things in this building. I hope my skin is a little thicker than it was."
The office drapes and Cadillac that instantly helped thicken his skin seem like a long time ago.
But he says his most difficult time as governor was something much more personal.
Hiller: "And what was your low point?"
Patrick: "Probably when Diane was sick, in the early days."
Now his wife has rebounded from treatment for exhaustion and depression, and he's looking ahead to his second term goals:
Job creation is number one; health care number two.
"Ninety-eight percent of our residents have health insurance today, no other state in america can touch that. I'm very proud of that, but it costs too much," the governor says.
"Four more years!" was the chant on election night.
To win his second term, Patrick bucked a national Republican tide, making Massachusetts bluer than ever.
Hiller: "How many states do you think you could be elected governor in?"
Patrick laughs and says, "I'm only concerned about one. I think what made a difference here can make a difference for to other candidates in other states. In particular for Democrats, we win when we stand for something, not when we run away from what we believe in."
And what he believes in is what he's promising for the next four years:
"We're going to crack the code on health care cost containment; we're going to reduce the achievement gap; and we're going to help get people back to work," the governor says.
Always the optimist, the governor sounds serenely confident about his second term.
I hope he's right.
Because what I see ahead is a clash of his good intentions with a bad budget deficit that hope can't close.
I'm Andy Hiller, and that's my instinct.
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