Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick To Make Late Entry Into 2020 Campaign

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has announced that he is entering the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race, just ahead of the Friday deadline to file for the New Hampshire primary.

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Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is making a last-minute entry into the crowded Democratic presidential primary.

A source with direct knowledge of his decision tells NPR that Patrick has been making calls to Massachusetts and national elected officials and supporters to brief them on his plans and that he plans to formally enter the race as soon as Wednesday night.

Patrick’s decision is about as last minute as it gets for a candidate who still wants to compete in the key early primary states: New Hampshire’s filing deadline is Friday.

Many of Patrick’s key longtime aides have already committed to other campaigns. Other candidates, running for nearly a year, have large organizations and volunteer networks in place in key states that vote and caucus in February and March. Polls consistently show that the vast majority of Democratic voters — more than 70% — are satisfied with the candidates already in the race.

Patrick is a popular two-term governor, one of a small handful of African American governors in U.S. history, and a close ally of former President Barack Obama. He had previously considered a 2020 run and spent time on the road campaigning for Democrats in 2018 as he considered whether to enter the race. But Patrick had earlier decided against a run out of concern about how a national campaign would affect his family.

“The process is cruel,” he told Boston public radio station WBUR nearly a year ago. “Every family has its warts, has its issues … has things they’d rather keep private, and we do as well.”

Nearly a year later, he has changed his mind.

The shift comes as the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party and many Democratic donors are increasingly worried about the party’s leftward shift and its chances of defeating President Trump in next year’s general election.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, two of the top-polling candidates, are running on platforms that would end private health insurance and impose massive new taxes on the ultrawealthy. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden has struggled to raise as much money as Warren and Sanders, and the other moderate toward the top of the polls is the millennial mayor of South Bend, Ind., Pete Buttigieg.

Patrick’s late entry, along with recent signals from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is a bet that the more moderate base of the party will rally around a new candidate in a way that voters haven’t responded to the existing historic large field that includes several senators, a governor, two political outsiders and a former Cabinet official.

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Evo Morales Condemns ‘Coup’ After Lawmaker Assumes Bolivia’s Interim Presidency

Jeanine Áñez, dressed in a presidential sash, addresses a crowd outside the president’s residence in La Paz, Bolivia. The opposition politician declared herself interim president of the country Tuesday.

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Juan Karita/AP

Evo Morales may be out of the country, but he’s not out of the picture.

Just days after the longtime Bolivian president stepped down under pressure from protesters and the military, fleeing to Mexico City over his controversial election victory last month, Bolivia has descended into a muddle of mass demonstrations and anger. And the chaos continues despite an opposition lawmaker’s swift attempt Tuesday night to fill the power vacuum he left behind.

The Senate vice president, Jeanine Áñez, 52, declared herself interim president, as the next in the line of succession after the resignations of Morales, 60, and several of his high-ranking allies. She made the proclamation at a Senate meeting that was boycotted by members of Morales’ socialist party — and that therefore lacked a quorum — but Bolivia’s highest constitutional court has endorsed her move, as have government officials in Brazil, the U.K. and the U.S.

Áñez donned the presidential sash and vowed to quickly hold a new vote to determine Morales’ permanent replacement. “God bless you and allow us to be free and to hold transparent elections soon,” she said Wednesday, in a tweet addressed to the country’s young people.

That’s not to say Morales or his supporters are on board.

Supporters of Evo Morales, who recently resigned as president of Bolivia, take part in a protest march Wednesday from El Alto to La Paz. Morales has condemned Jeanine Áñez, who declared herself interim president, as the perpetrator of a “sneaky coup.”

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From his refuge in Mexico City, where he has been granted asylum, the former president called a news conference Wednesday to denounce what he has called “the racists and coup leaders” who have claimed the highest rungs of Bolivian power.

Morales, the country’s first indigenous president, had been in office since 2006, and had been seeking a fourth term in last month’s presidential election. Constitutional term limits initially prevented him from doing so, but the longtime leader called a referendum to amend the rules — and when that bid was voted down in 2016, he took his case to court, where his candidacy was ultimately accepted.

During the election itself, which resulted in a resounding victory for Morales, monitors found a host of irregularities that prompted widespread protests and led the Organization of American States to suspect fraud at the polls. The multinational organization found the results so questionable, its team of auditors said it “cannot validate the results of this election and therefore recommends another electoral process.”

21 días de paro
21 días de lucha
21 días de sacrificio
21 días de unidad
21 días de esperanza
21 días de fe

TODO VALIÓ LA PENA

Viva Bolivia libre y democrática!#BoliviaLibre#BoliviaUnida pic.twitter.com/giGxljFuC6

— Luis Fernando Camacho (@LuisFerCamachoV) November 13, 2019

On Wednesday, Morales dismissed the findings as “a political decision, not a technical or legal one,” since the OAS is “in the service of the North American empire.” And he said he would be willing to return to Bolivia to restore peace “if the people ask me.”

Meanwhile, back in Bolivia, Morales’ supporters have mobilized for mass protests in El Alto, the country’s second-largest city, where tens of thousands of demonstrators clogged the streets. And in the capital, La Paz, security forces have clashed with protesters who have repeatedly tried to force their way into the building where the legislature convenes.

#URGENTE Vea cómo la policía impide el paso Adriana Salvatierra, Pdta del Senado de #Bolivia, la legisladora del Movimiento Al Socialismo de #EvoMorales. #GolpeDeEstadoEnBolivia pic.twitter.com/O0M2Q51QoU

— Rolando Segura (@rolandoteleSUR) November 13, 2019

Áñez, for her part, met with military and police commanders at the presidential palace as her own backers hailed her assumption of the interim presidency.

“All success in the challenge you face,” former President Carlos Mesa, who lost last month’s disputed election, tweeted on Tuesday. “Long live the country!”

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