News Column

Deval Patrick Got 'Quite Drunk' Once Manhunt Was Over

June 6, 2013

Gov. Deval Patrick gave a candid, behind-the-scenes look at the horrific days after the Boston Marathon bombings, telling employees at a Cambridge marketing firm yesterday he got "quite drunk" the day after the intense manhunt finally ended.

Patrick said the killing of bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the capture of his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on April 19 was a relief because people wouldn't be "bitching and moaning" about the unprecedented "shelter in place" order he gave that day, locking down Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Waltham and Belmont for nearly 16 hours.

Patrick shared his gripping memories during an hourlong question-and-answer session with HubSpot co-founder Brian Halligan, who invited the governor to riff on career advice. Instead, Patrick gave a raw oral history:

--On putting the FBI in charge of the case: "I said we need one agency in charge. I said, 'I don't care who it is ... somebody's got to be in charge.' ... And they all nodded. Probably because of the practice of the (FBI-led) Joint Terrorism Task Force. And, two, because nobody knew if this thing was going to go south."

--On the controversial Greater Boston lockdown: "In the afternoon ... I went back to the offices in the State House ... and I took a nap. (Then) the phone rang. It was the president. ... And he said, "Deval, I'm briefed. ... What are you going to do about the city? You can't keep it locked down indefinitely.'

"I said, 'Mr. President, I know that. ... I'm trying to sort that out now.' ... Basically the state police had said we should end this ... when we finish the door-to-door in Watertown. So if we haven't found him, we should say to people, 'Look, live your lives, but please be careful because he's still at large.'"

--On the capture of accused terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: "Look, the reason why it worked out in the end is because we found him. If we didn't find him then people would be bitching and moaning about how we kept them indoors all day."

--On getting drunk: "I got out to the Berkshires around supper time (Saturday, April 20). And I went for a quick swim, and I went to a local restaurant ... for supper by myself with a book. And I sat in the corner and Maggie, who runs the (restaurant), asked, 'Do you want to be near people or away from people?' I said, 'As far away as I can.' So she put in the corner, me and my book on my iPad, and she starts bringing me things. Some of them edible. In fact all the food was edible. She starts bringing me things to drink as a celebration. And by the end of the meal, I was actually quite drunk, by myself."

Maggie Merelle, co-owner of the West Stockbridge bistro Rouge, told the Herald yesterday she didn't sense the governor was intoxicated.

"He wasn't tipsy. I never would have known," Merelle said, recalling Patrick had duck confit, french fries, soup, salad and a "glass of chardonnay or two."

She said she was honored to have him, adding hosting him made her feel "like an old Jewish mother feeding him. We just wanted to nourish him."

Patrick admitted he left that night without paying the bill.

"I realized I had no money with me. So I called her over, and I said to Maggie: 'I really appreciate it. I'm very relaxed.' And I also have no money. Can I bring it down tomorrow or something?' " the governor said.

Merelle, who remembered the night well, told the Herald the governor "definitely" squared his tab.


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Source: Copyright Boston Herald (MA) 2013

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