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Deval Patrick: I Got Drunk After The Boston Bomber Was Captured

Deval Patrick

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was apparently in a celebratory mood after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured:

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick got “quite drunk” by himself a day after the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects concluded, according to a report Thursday.

The Boston Herald reported that the Bay State Democrat went to the Berkshires for a swim and a solo dinner, the Saturday after Boston endured hours of lockdown as law enforcement engaged in a shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers and spent a day tracking down the surviving brother, Dzhokhar, before capturing him.

“And I sat in the corner and Maggie, who runs the (restaurant), asked, ‘Do you want to be near people or away from people?’ I said, ‘As far away as I can,'” Patrick said in Cambridge on Wednesday, according to the Boston Herald. “So she put in the corner, me and my book on my iPad, and she starts bringing me things. Some of them edible. In fact all the food was edible. She starts bringing me things to drink as a celebration. And by the end of the meal, I was actually quite drunk, by myself.”

He had duck confit, french fries, soup, salad and wine, the report said. Patrick’s office has not returned POLITICO’s request for comment.

I can’t say I blame him. Boston had been running on pure adrenaline since the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon Finish Line at the beginning of the week and seeing it all come to an end after what was no doubt an incredibly stressful day must have been quite an experience. Indeed, this being Boston I am going to hazard a guess that Patrick was not the only person in the Greater Boston area engaging in a bit of celebration that weekend.

Another part of Patrick’s comments is also getting some attention:

Patrick also spoke on the day of the lockdown with President Barack Obama, who asked for details on the game plan.

“In the afternoon … I went back to the offices in the State House … and I took a nap,” Patrick said in the account. Then “the phone rang. It was the president. … And he said, ‘Deval, I’m briefed. … What are you going to do about the city? You can’t keep it locked down indefinitely.’

“I said, ‘Mr. President, I know that. … I’m trying to sort that out now,'” he continued, noting that the conclusion was that if the door-to-door search in Watertown, Mass., wasn’t successful, citizens could move freely but should do so with caution. Soon after the lockdown was lifted, law enforcement and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev engaged in a standoff, and he was eventually captured late that Friday night.

I’ve seen some criticism of Patrick taking a nap in the middle of the search for Tsarnaev,but I don’t really get it. Remember, the crisis that Friday actually started late Thursday night with the shooting of an MIT police officer that led to a police chase between the Tsarnaev brothers that ended in a shootout in Watertown. I doubt Patrick got much sleep at all that night and, indeed, probably not very much the previous four days. Patrick wasn’t conducting the search himself, and if there had been anything he had been needed for, aides clearly would’ve woken him. Besides, what exactly would be the value of the Chief Executive of the State being drained by fatigue while police were hunting down a terrorist in his state’s largest city? People tend to downplay the value of napping to begin with, but I really don’t think Patrick deserves to be attacked for taking a brief nap on the afternoon of April 19th.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    Politico really knows how to focus on the important news, don’t they? And all you bloggers follow right along…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  2. James Joyner says:

    People tend to downplay the value of napping to begin with, but I really don’t think Patrick deserves to be attacked for taking a brief nap on the afternoon of April 19th.

    Indeed, it’s been well known for quite some time—it was doctrine when I was an Army officer 20-odd years ago—that sleep is crucial for decision-makers. You can march and shoot with reasonable effectiveness even if you don’t sleep for three days straight; adrenaline will get you through it. You can’t make decisions worth a crap after missing one night’s sleep, let alone three.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  3. Rafer Janders says:

    I’ve seen some criticism of Patrick taking a nap in the middle of the search for Tsarnaev,but I don’t really get it.

    Lack of sleep makes you stupid. A well-rested person is an able person, while a person suffering from fatigue will gradually get more and more groggy and make poorer decisions. This is so obvious that it shouldn’t be at all controversial.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  4. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Joyner:

    You can march and shoot with reasonable effectiveness even if you don’t sleep for three days straight; adrenaline will get you through it. You can’t make decisions worth a crap after missing one night’s sleep, let alone three.

    Shooting is a decision. You may be still be able to shoot, but you’re as likely to shoot at your own guys as at the enemy if you haven’t slept in three days. Friendly-fire incidents due to fatigue are well documented.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  5. CSK says:

    If you read the original story at the Boston Herald (www.bostonherald.com) it’s even more bizarre. Patrick had been invited to give career advice at a marketing firm in Cambridge, and instead he decided to talk about this. He added that he was relieved by the capture of the Tsarnaevs because he feared that the shelter-in-place order would occasion “b!tching and moaning” on the part of the residents. I wonder if he realized there was a reporter from the Boston Herald in the room, taking down every word.

    In any case, I can’t blame him for what he said or did; it was an incredibly stressful time. I’m just surprised he’d talk about getting drunk in a public forum.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. Sam Malone says:

    WTF…It was late Friday night…I was already drunk when that rat-f’er was captured.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  7. Caj says:

    I don’t blame him. I’m sure there were a few more who raised a glass or two to the first responders and all those brave souls who tried to help the victims.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Mikey says:

    Duck confit and getting blasted all by himself.

    He sounds pretty damn cool to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. Surreal American says:

    Wait, doesn’t that make Deval Patrick extra-patriotic? You know, because he imbibed alcohol in defiance of teetotaling Transcaucasian terrorists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. Hal 10000 says:

    One of my favorite Presidents — Coolidge — used to take naps during the day. He would wake up and ask his advisors, with a grin, “is the country still there?” I always thought it was one of the big things that made his Presidency successful, not letting the job drain the life out of him.

    In this case, I’m not sure what Patrick’s nap hurt. He’s not a cop. He’s not searching door-to-door. His job is to coordinate the response and, for a brief period, there was nothing more to do. I’m sure, if there had been an emergency, his staff could have rouse him quite easily.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    Hey! I got drunk too!

    Even ordered a drink with a Boston connection.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Mikey says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy: That sounds pretty good. Any idea if it works with bourbon rather than rye?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. C. Clavin says:

    If DP was drinking Sam Adams the Tea Baggers soul be wetting themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  14. Peter says:

    He was traveling without a security detail? That sounds rather improbable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Rafer Janders says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I have to love the person who down-voted my comment that lack of sleep makes you fatigued and incapable — obviously they know something the rest of us don’t. Blinkered partisan, I salute you!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Rafer Janders says:

    @Peter:

    No, the fact that he was dining alone doesn’t mean he didn’t have a security detail. They just weren’t eating at the same table as him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. MarkedMan says:

    James: “I don’t get it”? I assume that was a rhetorical flourish. Of course you get it. There is literally nothing that a modern democrat could do that the leadership of the modern Republican Party wouldn’t find objectionable. And although the modern Dems have shown that they will rally behind their leaders when attacked, regardless of party, the modern repubs have made it clear that unity is for suckers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. I’ve seen some criticism of Patrick taking a nap in the middle of the search for Tsarnaev,but I don’t really get it.

    It’s HotAir, what can we expect at this point?

    But, I trust that George W. Bush never slept while 4,539 Americans and over 100,000 civilians were getting killed in Iraq over almost six years…right?

    I trust that George W. Bush never slept while his boy Brownie was bumbling the response to Hurricane Katrina…right?

    I trust that George W. Bush never slept during 22 days of the Beltway sniper attacks, which resulted in the deaths of 10 people and the critical wounding of three more and the large scale lockdowns of highways and communities…right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. James Joyner says:

    @Rafer Janders: Yes, that’s true. I’m simply talking about the mechanics of shooting. You could take those guys to a rifle range or a highly supervised live fire exercise and they can operate with something like their normal level of skill. But, no, I wouldn’t want them out there with loaded weapons deciding whom to engage. Soldiers are bad enough at that when well rested.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0