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Obama calls in to Boston Public Radio

“Uh, Governor, this is Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville.”


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Deval Patrick’s final term as the governor of Massachusetts—an office he has held since 2007—is coming to an end. Thursday, for the last time, he joined Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan for their monthly “Ask the Governor” segment in which he takes calls from the listening public. This time Patrick had a special caller—a certain “Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville.”

Barack Obama: “Hello?”

Jim Braude: “Hello, sir. Yes, you’re on with Gov. Deval Patrick.”

Barack Obama: “Uh, Governor, this is Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville. I’ve got a few complaints about service in and around the neighborhood, but I’ve moved down South since that time…”

Deval Patrick: “You’re kidding, Mr. President. Who is this impersonator? You’re very good. Who is this really?”

Barack Obama: “I want to find out how it is that you got Massachusetts so strong and moving in the right direction.”

Deval Patrick: “Mr. President, you know I love you, but you still have trouble saying Massachusetts. You know that don’t you?”

Barack Obama: “You know, there’s a little lisp thing that develops when I say Massachusetts. I know how to spell it, though.”

WGBH News/YouTube

“I just wanted to call in and let my dear friend know how proud I am,” the caller, who was confirmed by WGBH as President Barack Obama,  went on to say. “Deval, you’ve done good, man.” Among the accomplishments he commended him for, President Obama mentioned that Gov. Patrick had gotten more people working than any time in the last 25 years, balanced the budget, improved health care access, bettered student performance, and created clean energy jobs. 

“You started with an outstanding state, but you’ve burnished it and polished it, and most importantly, you’ve gotten people involved and made people believe in civic engagement,” the president said, before continuing, “I should mention also, by the way, the Red Sox, uh, have won a couple of times. The Patriots are looking OK this year, so you know, uh, that’s important. The Celtics is another story—we’ll have a longer conversation about that.”

Before he signed off, host Jim Braude asked the president, “Mr. President, you paid all those parking tickets in Somerville, correct?” referring to the 17 parking citations President Obama received while attending Harvard Law School. Laughing, the president replied, “You know what, uh, I think I had to before I took office. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to step into the commonwealth without being arrested.”

Photo via Wikipedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

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