Democratic National Convention
Thursday, August 17, 2000

Busy Patton shines at Demo convention

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LOS ANGELES — The traffic was heavy on Santa Monica Boulevard on Wednesday morning, making Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton 10 minutes late for the speech he was to deliver to the South Carolina delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

        The preceding evening was a late night for Mr. Patton. The Democratic Governors Association, a nationwide organization he chairs, hosted a party at Sony Columbia Pictures Studios.

        He is quiet and obviously tired as he peers out of the window of a white van taking him to the Beverly Hills Holiday Inn.

        Todd Bledsoe, an aide to Mr. Patton who worked in the White House, hands Mr. Patton some notes for the speech.

Legendary work habits

               The van pulls up to the hotel's front door, and it is a different Mr. Patton who emerges, his signature smile beaming, his booming voice offering greetings to the South Carolina Democrats there to welcome him.

        “He's tired,” said Rusty Chevruont, the governor's spokesman. “But this will get him going.”

        The limelight has shone on Mr. Patton during this week's Democratic convention. His roles as chairman of the governors association, as a co-chairman of the convention and as the leading Democrat in Kentucky's delegation have kept him in the spotlight.

        Mr. Patton hustles to the lectern, then twice brings the South Carolina delegates to their feet.

        “The inspiration that we get from this convention is going to give us the tools that we need to talk to people about what is really important in this election and what is really important for our country,” Mr. Patton said.

        “It's like an old country revival. We have to get re- dedicated and reinvigorated, and that's what's going to happen, not just all over Kentucky or all over South Carolina, but all over America after this convention.”

        Mr. Patton's schedule for this week is 36 pages long, an ambitious agenda even for someone whose work habits are becoming part of Frankfort lore. Since arriving in Los Angeles on Saturday morning, nearly every waking hour has been scripted with a meeting, breakfast, luncheon, dinner, party, speech or some other event.

Preparing for next race

               The rest of Wednesday goes like this:

        • A similar speech to the West Virginia delegation.

        • Lunch with Kentucky delegates, then another luncheon with Democratic governors.

        • Satellite interviews with television stations back in Kentucky.

        • The convention's evening session, followed by an ABC News reception at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.

        • Dinner with Kentucky delegates.

        Mr. Patton readily admits that part of his efforts at the convention are geared toward building a national base of donors he will need for his probable run for U.S. Senate in 2004.

        That race, which will be against incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning of Northern Kentucky, will cost at least $5 million.

        “Everything you do relates to building and putting yourself in a position to do a job and also to be able to win the job,” Mr. Patton said.

        “Certainly I have tried to use my position to exert leadership to do something important, and at the same time demonstrate I could effectively do other jobs ... and get acquainted with people that would help me gain that office.”

        Lexington lawyer and lobbyist Terry McBrayer, a delegate and close political adviser to Mr. Patton, said the governor has raised his national profile.

        “When Paul Patton needs help down the road, people who were here are going to remember who he is,” said Mr. McBrayer.

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- Busy Patton shines at Demo convention