Patrick likes running things. He has told intimates that, after his second term expires, he would like to run something else. And, beneath a usually affable and occasionally prickly veneer, Patrick is a tough customer. In persuading Patrick to a point of view, the bull-in-the-china-shop routine that Frank has pulled for years with maximum effectiveness is generally not the way to go.

Patrick is close to Frank, even officiating his wedding last year, and there is little daylight between them ideologically. But he does not enjoy marching orders.

“What I know of the governor, this kind of behavior will not be rewarded,” said Guarino, who dealt with Patrick on occasionally adversarial terms as a senior aide to former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi. “He doesn’t like to be told what to do.”