Governor Deval Patrick said today he plans to travel a lot more, nationally and internationally, in his second term – venturing out of state for trade missions, policy research, and to promote his upcoming autobiography.
Patrick’s travel is certain to renew speculation about his aspirations for higher office and to draw criticism that his trips amount to junketeering.
But Patrick, in a 20 minute interview with the Globe, defended the travel as vital to the state’s economy.
“I know my counterparts [in other states] are doing it around the country and around the world,” he said, adding that Massachusetts has “very powerful things to sell.”
Patrick has been granting brief interviews since yesterday with bloggers, newspaper reporters, television, and radio journalists as he prepares for his inauguration Thursday.
He said this afternoon that he has yet to write the inaugural speech, but outlined four broad themes for the second term: creating jobs; closing the student achievement gap; trimming health costs with a new payment system; and reducing youth violence by bridging efforts from the government with mothers and others affected by the problem.
Patrick said his inaugural address will focus more on broad themes than specific policy proposals.
Patrick rebuffed repeated requests to release the list of corporate and individual donors to his inaugural festivities, which are expected to cost $500,000. He said it would be done eventually but said the issue was not a concern for him.
A Democrat, Patrick said some of his travel may also involve selling President Obama’s national message, if he is asked to do so by the president.
He said leaving the state to promote his book, due out in April, would not infringe on his ability to govern the state.
“If I can’t, I won’t do it,” he said. “I think we can.”
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