Neoliberalism strikes again… | Deval Patrick | Analysis

Governor Deval Patrick is joining Mitt Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital. Far be it from me to deny the former governor’s right to pursue a lucrative career after governing Massachusetts. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. That said, his choice of companies to join is rather disappointing, to put it mildly. Bain? Really? Of all the companies one might have expected him to consider, Bain is not one I would even have put on a shortlist of possible candidates.

When we think of political figures, we often, on a conscious level, only consider their stated positions. We often forget about some of the things they might have done or avoided doing while in office. When the occasion presents itself, as it did with the Bain announcement, we all may express our dismay and scorn for a personal decision, but that is a fleeting moment. As political figures weave in and out of public life, the level of scrutiny changes and our collective memory tends to shed the feelings of scorn we experienced during a brief moment. It is rare, when politicians reenter, that a personal choice such as Patrick’s has much weight as they reenter the political fray a few years down the road.

There were lots of high hopes and speculation about Patrick’s next political move, once his term was over. Whatever the reason for not continuing in politics now, he may return at some point in the next few years.

Will we remember how we felt about his career choice and its implications when we consider him for his next political office? Will we have retained, in our collective memories, our feelings about Bain Capital and Mitt Romney’s influence on the nation, by way of what they stand for and their effect on the US economy?

If the answer is yes, then it means we will have finally learned one of the biggest lessons of the last thirty years: we pay a heavy price when we don’t pay attention to how far our leaders stray from core principles.

Former Gov. Deval Patrick to join Bain Capital – Business – The Boston Globe
By Beth Healy | 

The move is a new avenue for Bain Capital, an $80 billion firm best known for investments in companies like Dunkin’ Donuts and Staples. Patrick will help give Bain its first foothold in the growing field of “social impact” investing, tackling social problems such as hunger and climate change with for-profit investments.Patrick, 58, will become one of Bain’s managing directors, and the first African-American to do so.

“This is a chance to have real meaning and mission in my work’’ after public service, Patrick said in an interview Monday at Bain’s offices, high in the Hancock Tower.

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