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Political Circuit

Palin’s regard for Jane Swift changed in a swift manner

(Steven Senne/Associated Press)
Globe Staff / June 12, 2011

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Sarah Palin once saw a kindred spirit in Jane Swift, another Republican whose abilities were doubted as she struggled to balance motherhood and the governorship.

“They said the same thing throughout my career: ‘too young’, ‘pregnant’, ‘kids,’ ‘She won’t be able to do it,’ ’’ Palin wrote to her spokeswoman on March 6, 2008, in one of the newly released e-mails from her time as governor of Alaska. “This coming from good ol’ boys who don’t like change. And so far along in my career we’ve proved them wrong at each turn.’’

But Palin’s opinion of Swift, who was acting governor of Massachusetts from 2001 to 2003, turned quickly, in a series of e-mails with her spokeswoman, Sharon Leighow, who detailed Swift’s missteps in office. In an e-mail titled “interesting Info of Gov Swift,’’ Leighow tells Palin about Swift using a State Police helicopter to ferry her to her home in the Berkshires, and using aides to help her baby-sit.

“By the end of her term, Swift was extremely unpopular with voters in the state (at one point having the dubious honor of a single-digit approval rating),’’ Leighow wrote to Palin. “This unpopularity was due in part to a perceived lack of effectiveness and in part to apparent abuses of her gubernatorial privileges.’’

Palin wrote back, sounding more horrified than inspired by Swift’s story.

“What poor decisions she made there,’’ Palin wrote. “Please, just shoot me if you ever see me travel such a road.’’ — MICHAEL LEVENSON

Patrick broadens his influence

Governor Deval Patrick continued his Democratic rubber-chicken tour, with an expected visit last night to a palatial waterfront resort hotel in South Florida.

Patrick was scheduled to deliver the keynote address for the Florida Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. Also on the bill: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee who represents the area in Congress, and Representative Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Interesting side note about the venue: Construction of the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood was financed by the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters National Pension Fund, underscoring Patrick’s recent efforts to emphasize his regard for organized labor.

Patrick has previously addressed state party dinners in Wisconsin and Colorado in recent months.

“He’s not necessarily a household word in Florida,’’ said Mitch Ceasar, the longtime chairman of the Broward County Democratic Party and a member of the Democratic National Committee executive board.

Still, 1,200 people were expected to attend. Ceasar said Patrick’s reputation, to the extent he has one, is succinct: “Governor of Massachusetts, good speaker, friend of the president.’’ — NOAH BIERMAN

Tweet of the week:
As the controversy surrounding Mayor William Lantigua of Lawrence continues to brew, Boston.com has devoted a special section of the website to the issue. Mass GOPer @Tim_BuckleyMA last week took to Twitter to offer a message to the embattled mayor, a Democrat:

“Yikes Willy. Never good when you get a whole boston.com web page. Even worse when it is a Hot Topic.’’