Over on Showdown, Matt Cooper has some great perspective on the largely-overlooked Deval Patrick win in the Massachusetts gubernatorial contest last night — a victory that was surprising mostly for the lack of surprise involved. But as Matt points out, the race shouldn’t have been a sure thing: Patrick’s not-so-secret weapon in his first race ever was a brilliant centrist campaign, hinging on the efforts of Democratic consultant David Axelrod.

Axelrod, of course, happens to have another charismatic African-American client with pretty big crossover appeal: Barack Obama.

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