How to Disguise an Oil Well

National Journal
Oct. 29, 2013, 5:58 p.m.

Gov. Dev­al Patrick (D)’s 12/6 de­cision to can­cel a speech at the ex­clus­ively-male Clover Club has “sparked a de­bate” in MA.

Club mem­bers said “they were stunned and dis­ap­poin­ted” but “sev­er­al polit­ic­ally act­ive” MA wo­men “praised” the de­cision. Law­yer/Patrick sup­port­er Cheryl Cronin: “I’m glad the gov­ernor did what he did, and he ab­so­lutely did the right thing. It’s one thing for people to so­cial­ize with their own gender - those are per­son­al de­cisions - but to have in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized clubs or fa­cil­it­ies that ex­pressly ex­clude cer­tain people based on gender or race and to have the gov­ernor par­ti­cip­ate in that is…not the place he wants to be” (Leven­son, Bo­ston Globe, 12/8).

The Globe ed­it­or­i­al­izes that Patrick “was right to skip boy’s night out.”

“Had Patrick lent the prestige of his of­fice to a men-only club, he would have helped to up­hold the kind of knee-jerk ex­clu­sion that long kept minor­it­ies from golf courses and wo­men from their fair share of seats at power-brokers’ tables.”

“While the cir­cum­stances of his Sat­urday night turn­about were clumsy, it’s nice to see that Patrick was will­ing to prod. One of the powers a gov­ernor has is the bully pul­pit: the right to take a stand and send a mes­sage all at once. A politi­cian who has broken sig­ni­fic­ant ground him­self, Patrick has done good work open­ing op­por­tun­it­ies to all in the high reaches of his own ad­min­is­tra­tion. On this sub­ject, he un­der­stands the many ways to lead by ex­ample” (12/8).

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