One Of Deval Patrick’s Appearances Draws Empty Room

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick isn't exactly starting out on the right foot.

Newly announced Presidential candidate former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick isn’t exactly hitting it out of the park in his opening days on the campaign trail:

Deval Patrick wasn’t among the 10 presidential candidates on stage during the fifth Democratic primary debate in Atlanta.

The former Massachusetts governor was, however, hoping to have an audience in the city Wednesday night.

Patrick, who made a late entrance into the 2020 presidential race last week, was scheduled to speak at Morehouse College, but canceled the event after arriving at the school’s Atlanta campus and learning that only two people were in the audience, according to CNN.

Julian Hemmings, the president and founder of the historically black college’s New Deal Democrats, which was hosting the event, told CNN that Patrick’s appearance was organized on short notice; the group had only invited him on Tuesday.

“The campaign is telling us that they had to catch a flight,” Hemmings told in an email after the event was canceled.
Patrick’s campaign did not immediately respond to questions for comment Wednesday night.

According to an earlier campaign announcement, the 63-year-old former governor had been scheduled to meet with students and the editorial boards of local student newspapers at 7:45 p.m. — just 75 minutes before the nationally televised Democratic debate began less than four miles away at Tyler Perry Studios.

According to CNN, no one was in the audience at Patrick’s event up until five minutes before the event, when two female students — who reportedly said organizers asked them to attend as they were passing by in the hallway — arrived.

Hemmings says the New Deal Democrats have hosted a number of Democratic presidential candidates this election cycle. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigeg participated in an event Monday, and California Sen. Kamala Harris spoke at the school in March. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is also scheduled to visit Thursday.

Here’s the photo that a CNN reporter posted on Twitter:

To be fair, it’s early in Patrick’s campaign and this was scheduled at the last minute. Nonetheless, if you’re going to counter-program the debate, which is obviously what they intended here, you better be sure people are going to show up in the first place. Not a good start, Governor Patrick.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. CSK says:

    The stunt he pulled trying to keep his brother-in-law’s name off the sex offenders registry isn’t helping, nor is the fact that the rape victim (twice) is Patrick’s own sister.

  2. Jen says:


    nor is the fact that the rape victim (twice) is Patrick’s own sister.

    Good lord, I didn’t realize that. I’d just been assuming that the “BIL” had to be his wife’s brother.

  3. CSK says:

    @Jen: Yes. Patrick threw his own sister under the bus, I can only suppose because he didn’t want the political damage that would accrue from having a bil who was a convicted sex criminal. I can’t imagine why he thought he could keep this hidden.

  4. The Q says:

    “Hey, let’s go check out Deval Patrick’s Presidential Stump speech” said no one ever….

  5. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: The relationship between women and their abusive partners can be complex, especially if there are kids involved.

    He might not have been “throwing his sister under a bus” as much as enabling her through corrupt means. Or even trying to protect her — “governor’s sister’s husband registers as sex offender” is going to be a story, and it’s going to bring things up she may well have wanted buried.

    I’m not defending him, by any stretch of the imagination, but the story might be much more complicated, and his disqualifying offenses moderately different.

    I don’t want to read more about the sorry story though, so I’m just speculating.

    He should just go away.

  6. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: Oh so you have intimate details of the incident beyond what you got off Twitter? There probably more to the story than an idiot can wrap their head around. You’d make a gold star Trump Troll

  7. An Interested Party says:

    There probably more to the story than an idiot can wrap their head around.

    And what possible “more” to this story could paint Patrick in a positive light?

  8. de stijl says:

    Quibble with headline:

    “Empty Room” strongly implies there were no attendees. There were two. Two people showed up. 2>0.

    Maybe “Patrick Draws Laughably Tiny Audience”

    Current headline seems untrue.