By Tahir Ali
The sky was cloudy but the day was still bright as the sun
was peeking through the clouds whenever it found an opening
to shed a ray or two at the heavy traffic west-bound on route
290 toward the Convention Center. Coincidently, former President
Bill Clinton was coming to the convention center as well to
shed a ray of hope on Deval Patrick to help him win the gubernatorial
election on November 7, 2006.
When Farooq Mirza, Parwez Wahid, and I arrived at the convention
center there was standing room only. It was in this very convention
a few months back when Deval Patrick was endorsed by the state
delegates as their front runner.
Mrs. Partick, recalling that jubilant moment, conveyed her
thanks once again to the delegates. Apparently disgusted by
the negative ads directed toward her husband by Devals opponent,
she remarked; "I hope today’s poll [which show
Deval leading by more than 25 points over his Republican opponent
Kerry Healey] and November 7, will get the message across:
We are tired of nasty politics."
Congressman James McGovern called Deval Patrick "a true
champion of human rights who fought for restoring civil rights."
McGovern, who spearheads Deval Patrick's campaign, told a
cheering crowd of more than 8000, "I believe in the man,
he will bring a politics of hope, inclusion and respect. He
wants to be the governor of Massachusetts not an ambassador
to Canada or Mexico."
McGovern, who arranged Bill Clinton’s visit to Worcester
spoke highly of the former US president: "When he left
the office, our economy was up, America was respected all
over the world. I wish Bill Clinton was still in the White
Senator Edward Kennedy, referring to the current administration’s
tactic of "exploiting people fears", said, "Next
week is Halloween and we are tired of scary tactics. We are
saying Kerry Healey, you are fired."
Deval Patrick spoke to the crowd, but had to leave early to
attend a gubernatorial debate with Kerry Healey scheduled
that evening. But before he left he gave a clear message to
the crowd: "Now get to work"
Bill Clinton walked in the convention center to a roaring
standing ovation. This was his third visit to Worcester. He
asked the Massachusetts voters to work hard for Deval Patrick
and make it not just a mere victory but a resounding victory.
Deval served as the civil rights chief in the US Justice Department
during Bill Clinton's presidency.
Praising Senator Kennedy he said, "Ted Kennedy is among
the top 10 Senators," and then added, laughingly, "I
know what he is thinking: maybe on the top five."
Mr. Clinton criticized the "divisive ideology and special
interest politics" adopted by the Republicans in their
campaign, which he indicated is losing its effectiveness,
then added, "Where I come from you can only run a mangy
dog so often before someone notices the mange."
Mr. Clinton’s criticism of the current government and
its failures, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan resonated
well with the attendees, but he indicated that the Republicans
still expect people to vote for them as they say, "The
reason you have to vote for us this November is that if you
elect the Democrats they will tax you into the poor house,
and on the way, you will meet a terrorist on every corner
and when you try to run away you will stumble over an illegal
immigrant." The crowd burst into laughter.
Polls indicate that Deval Patrick may become the first Afro-American
Governor of Massachusetts. Muslims in Massachusetts who are
busy working in his campaign also featured in the headlines
in the Worcester Telegram of October 25:
"Muslims drawn to Patrick, Local community also working
against Question 1"
"Local Muslims are rallying around Democratic gubernatorial
candidate Deval Patrick and are working to defeat Question
1, the ballot initiative that would allow for an expansion
of wine sales in grocery stores, leaders in the Islamic community