Former Massachusetts governor and private equity fund manager Deval Patrick has jumped into the 2020 presidential race, his run a signal that the other establishment-friendly minority Democrats have crashed and burned.
After leaving office in 2015, Patrick, a close friend and ally of former President Barack Obama, joined a private equity firm co-founded by Mitt Romney, a former governor for MA himself and now a senator from Utah.
"I think that if we want solutions that last, they can't be solutions that feel to the voting public as if they are just Democratic solutions", Patrick said.
By December, however, Patrick cooled to the idea of a presidential bid. "Neither of those, it seems to me, seizes the moment to pull the nation together".
Mr. Patrick's announcement, which he had signaled this week, came in the form of a video he released early Thursday morning.
He closed with, "This time is about more than removing an unpopular and divisive leader, as important as that is, but about delivering instead for you". He resigned on Wednesday, a company spokesperson said. His late-entry into the race is a sign that some establishment Democrats are anxious that the party's current front runners - former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Another Democrat - former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg - is also weighing a last-minute bid for the party's nomination.
The late entries months before the first primary contests highlight the volatility of the race and Democrats' worries that the Biden's candidacy may be weakening.
Almost 20 Democrats are seeking to challenge Republican Donald Trump in next year's election. He gave a rousing speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., bringing delegates to their feet as he told Democrats "to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe".
"I think the actual business of advancing an agenda once elected is a different kind of undertaking", he said.
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"I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field", Patrick says in the video.
But he will face steep competition there. So far, all but the top five candidates have failed to garner more than a few percentage points of support in state and national polls.
It is also unclear if Mr Patrick will get enough support and funding to qualify for a presidential debate.
Then he will head to New Hampshire's State House to file paperwork to be on the primary ballot there - one day before the deadline - before moving on to California, Nevada, Iowa and SC, according to a Democrat familiar with his plans.
Throughout his career, Patrick has been compared to his friend, former President Barack Obama, in part because both have leaned on their personal stories and ties to Chicago to rise to political power.
Patrick will be among more than a dozen 2020 candidates who will speak at a fundraiser for the Nevada Democratic Party on Sunday night. Does Patrick have some massive groundswell of a base just waiting for him to run so they can throw their money at him and support him in droves?
Patrick went on to claim that Bain Capital was "demonized" during the 2012 election and defended the firm, saying that "there is a place for private equity in a private economy". The state's first African-American chief executive, Patrick also reformed its pension system, reworked the transportation department and raised the minimum wage.
Still, Patrick is betting there's a narrow window to shake up a Democratic primary that has stagnated in recent months with four persistent front-runners, each of whom has glaring vulnerabilities.