Why is Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) suddenly all over the map?
The Bay State governor, re-elected to a second term in November, has said he wants to brag about Massachusetts. Recently, he's taken that braggadocio to some strange places, sitting down with DNC chairman Tim Kaine and David Axelrod, Patrick's one-time chief strategist.
Patrick is close with Pres. Obama, and he's certainly a short-lister if and when certain Cabinet positions open up (He's been mentioned for Attorney General). But maybe there's a more immediate position coming open in which Patrick might be interested: Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Kaine, after all, is getting serious pressure to run for a seat being vacated by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), in order to give Democrats a fighting chance to hold Webb's seat. The next DNC chairman serves at Obama's pleasure, and that person could play a key role in Obama's 2012 re-election bid. After rewarding one key ally in Kaine, Obama might follow the pattern and bring on another long-time ally.
A senior Democratic source threw some water on that idea, noting Patrick and Kaine sat down before Webb made his Senate announcement. Still, keep an eye on Patrick. He's ramping up his national profile for a reason, and it's not just for his health.
A Patrick spokesperson wasn't immediately reachable.