A governor on the move: a look at Patrick’s public schedule

Deval Patrick made public appearances in 59 percent of Mass. cities and towns, Globe analysis found

FROM MERLIN ARCHIVE DO NOT RESEND TO LIBRARY 40. FOR PAT GREENHOUSE'S FIRST 100 DAYS PROJECT Boston, MA 3/30/07 Governor Deval Patrick (cq) walks to the State House for a meeting on Friday, March 30, 2007. After a morning of speeches in Cambridge and Boston, he had asked his State-Police driver to let him out at the Bank of America ATM on Tremont Street so he could do some personal banking. He then walked through the Boston Common. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff); Reporter: XXX: Section: Projects; Slug: XXX FOR PAT GREENHOUSE'S FIRST 100 DAYS PROJECT / THE MISEDUCATION OF DEVAL PATRICK: (cover photo) Library Tag 01132008 Magazine
Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
Gov. Deval Patrick walks to the State House for a meeting on March 30, 2007.

This story was updated on Jan. 3.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick leaves office on Thursday, after more than 2,500 days as governor and 3,800 public appearances around the state, country, and world.

Patrick’s legacy and priorities can be seen in where he went during his time in office, how frequently he visited those destinations, and what he talked about while there. In many of his appearances, transportation and energy issues were highlighted topics, an analysis of Patrick’s schedule by the Globe shows.

“From his first day in office, Governor Patrick has made a point of being governor of the whole state, and has prioritized spending his time in ways that will create growth and opportunity across the Commonwealth,” said Jesse Mermell, spokesperson for the governor, in an email.


The Globe reviewed the governor’s public schedule from Jan. 5, 2007, to Dec. 17, 2014. Events analyzed were only those listed on the governor’s public schedule, which may not all include campaign stops and personal travel.

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Throughout his eight-year tenure, more than half of all Patrick’s public appearances occurred at the State House or in other parts of Boston.

Patrick’s other Massachusetts events centered in large and mid-size cities, including Worcester, Springfield, and Cambridge. In all, he made public appearances in 59 percent of the Massachusetts municipalities, touring much of the eastern side of the state while leaving out significant portions of Central and Western Massachusetts.

Once he had secured a second term, Patrick jetted to foreign countries more frequently, visiting Israel and the United Kingdom twice and doing lengthy tours in Asia and South America.

Eight years of public appearances

In all, Patrick appeared in public 3,824 times in 275 destinations — 208 in Massachusetts and 67 out of the state — during his eight-year governorship.


The governor traveled primarily in the United States during his first term, holding only 123 appearances, or 7 percent of his total public appearances, outside of Massachusetts. During that term, Patrick traveled to just two foreign countries: China and Canada in 2007.

But his second term was marked by international travel. Patrick made 14 percent of his appearances out of the state, two-thirds of which were on international trips.

During his campaign for reelection he visited more Massachusetts communities than in any other year in his term. That year, 2010, he visited 107 Massachusetts towns and cities. About 96 percent of his public appearances were in-state.

In 2011, after he was reelected, that percentage dropped to 82 percent, as Patrick took off on extensive out-of-state and out-of-country travel. He made 109 appearances outside of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the highest annual number during his two terms.

How many public events did Patrick have?

Number of public appearances by year

Globe Staff

Visiting Mass. towns and cities

Tom Rettig/Worcester Telegram & Gazette
On February 4, 2011, Governor Deval L. Patrick spoke to the owners of Interstate Battery in Auburn Nathan J. Stawiecki and Arelis Stawiecki. Interstate Battery’s roof collapsed resulting from heavy snow loads. The Governor was trying to bring attention to snow removal from roofs.

Throughout his governorship, Patrick made public appearances in 59 percent of the state’s 351 towns and cities.


More than half of his appearances — a total of 2,038 events — occurred in Boston, from the hallways and conference rooms of the State House to theaters, businesses, and schools in neighborhoods across the city.

Outside of Boston, Patrick’s top Massachusetts destination was Worcester, where he attended 103 events. He appeared in Cambridge 79 times. He visited Pittsfield for 41 public appearances.

Of the 207 Massachusetts cities and towns in which he had public appearances during his two terms, 107 were visited three or more times.

Appearances throughout the US

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and his wife Diane Patrick arrived for a State Dinner hosted by President Barack Obama for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House in Washington on Nov. 24, 2009.

Within the United States, Patrick attended National Governors Association summits, toured Silicon Valley, and attended both of President Obama’s inaugurations.

Patrick frequently traveled to Washington for public appearances, particularly after Obama took office. Patrick made eight public appearances in Washington during the first two years of his governorship, but in 2009, the annual number grew to 36. In all, Patrick had 139 public appearances in Washington, more than in any city and town in Massachusetts other than Boston.

Beyond Washington, he made four trips to California to attend 21 public events in San Diego, the Bay Area, and Los Angeles. He had eight public appearances in New York and six in Chicago.

Patrick also made appearances in each of the remaining five New England states at least once, speaking at Brown University in Providence and Colby College in Waterville, Maine, moderating a forum on health care reform in Burlington, Vt., talking about energy innovations in Bretton Woods, N.H., and speaking with Obama at an event in New Britain, Conn.

Public appearances across the US
US cities visited at least twice according to Patrick's public schedule
Location 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Total
Washington, D.C. 5 3 36 18 35 18 10 14 139
New York, NY 1 2 3 2 8
San Diego, CA 8 8
Atlanta, GA 5 1 6
Chicago, IL 4 2 6
Biloxi, MS 5 5
Palo Alto, CA 3 3
Bretton Woods, NH 2 2
Denver, CO 2 2
Menlo Park, CA 2 2
Mountain View, CA 2 2
San Jose, CA 2 2
Traverse City, MI 2 2
DATA: Massachusetts Governor's Office
Globe Staff

An international governor

Doug Kanter/WpN
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick shook hands with a Chinese businessman at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China on Dec. 3, 2007. Governor Patrick was on the first overseas trade mission of his term.

In 2007, Patrick traveled to China and Canada.

In 2011, he went to Brazil, the United Kingdom, and Israel.

In 2013, he appeared in Colombia, Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore .

In 2014, he went to the United Arab Emirates, Panama, Israel, Mexico, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and France.

The number of Patrick’s international trade missions increased as his time in office progressed. The number of his appearances abroad more than tripled during his governorship, from 18 events in 2007 to 68 in 2014.

The scheduled events during these trips varied, from meeting economic officials in Beijing to discussing climate change in London. Most trips were considered trade missions, intended to foster business ties between Massachusetts and the respective countries.

Where in the world did Patrick travel

International destinations for Patrick's public appearances, size of dot indicates number of appearances.

DATA: Massachusetts Governor's Office

Globe Staff

‘No public events scheduled’

Patrick’s official schedule included notations for days in which he did not make any public appearances. Those days included vacations, office days, travel days, and weekends.

As of Dec. 17, 37 percent of his schedule was noted without public events.

Patrick generally had the fewest public appearances during the month of August, when his schedule indicated he took vacations. He also made few official public appearances during the holidays in December.

The number of public appearances Patrick made annually increased throughout his eight years in office. Likewise, the number of days with no public appearances decreased. In 2007, about 45 percent of the days listed on his schedule had no public appearances. In 2014, it was about a third of the days.

The schedule provided by the governor's office was not complete. Between Jan. 5, 2007, and Dec. 17, 2014, Patrick’s public schedule had notations on 2,786 days, which was 96 percent of the total number of days during that time window.

Days with no public appearances
Number of days without public events on governor's schedule by year
DATA: Massachusetts Governor's Office
Globe Staff

Todd Wallack of Globe staff contributed to this report. Catherine Cloutier can be reached at catherine.cloutier@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @cmcloutier.