Deval Patrick's eensy-weensy campaign

To call Deval Patrick’s campaign a shoestring operation would be insulting to shoestrings.

Attend a Patrick event and there’s not a bumper sticker or pin to be found, let alone organizers with clipboards collecting names of would-be voters. His ground game looks to be nonexistent: The entire campaign appears to consist of a handful of volunteers and one publicly announced staffer, campaign manager Abe Rakov. In comparison, other campaigns have several hundred paid staffers and dozens of offices combined — and that’s just in New Hampshire.

Patrick has spent the first dozen days of his campaign trying to persuade senior Democratic leaders in the early voting states to take him seriously. They want to give the former Massachusetts governor with an inspirational life story and friendship with Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt. But Patrick has a way to go before they fully buy in.

“A lot of the talent has already been acquired here, professional talent to run his campaign,” said former New Hampshire Chief Justice John Broderick, a Joe Biden supporter. “He’s not going to be on the debate stage, most probably. It’s pretty damn difficult.”