Joseph P. Kennedy III testified Saturday for one of his favorite Harvard Law School professors: Elizabeth Warren.
The US House candidate opened remarks to a labor breakfast preceding the Democratic state convention by saying if Warren is as tough on her opponent, Senator Scott Brown, as she was on her students, she will be fine in her campaign.
Afterward, Kennedy told the Globe that Warren taught his first law school class - contracts - and he was so impressed with her teaching style and open-door policy with students that he later took her bankruptcy class.
“She’s a fantastic teacher and I spent a lot of time in her office hours. She made herself so available to students,’’ Kennedy said. “She was obviously a star when I was there, but she always made herself available, always reached beyond what the law actually was to show you the impact of it, and always brought it back to how it was affecting real people and what the impact of it was.’’
He added: “It showed that her heart was always in the right place.’’
Given that, Kennedy was asked, what does he think of suggestions that Warren used an undocumented claim of Native American heritage to advance in her career?
“I’ve known her a long time,’’ he said. “I think she’s going to be a great senator. She’s a great candidate. I’m happy to support her.’’
For her part, Warren returned the compliment when her campaign tweeted out a picture of the professor shaking hands at the convention with her former student. — GLEN JOHNSON
Patrick rallies thousands of Democrats with speech
Governor Deval Patrick gave the most fiery speech of the day at the state Democratic convention, telling delegates “it’s time for Democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe.’’
“Democrats, quit waiting for pundits and pollsters and economic indicators to tell us who the next president or senator or member of Congress is going to be,’’ the governor said. “We shape our own future.’’
The speech, similar to those he often delivers to party activists across the country, excited the thousands in the audience, prompting many to repeatedly stand and cheer.
Patrick’s speech was far more nationally oriented than those by other speakers, praising President Obama and criticizing Republicans as unprincipled bullies, seeking power rather than principle.
He also singled out his predecessor, Mitt Romney, for what he characterized as bad economic stewardship.
Patrick then exhorted Democrats to stand up for Obama.
“I for one will not let him be bullied out of office,’’ Patrick said.
“I’m in for 2012; are you in?’’ — NOAH BIERMAN
House representatives pay tribute to Frank, Olver
As the convention festivities kicked off Saturday morning, members of the state’s US House delegation gave remarks in tribute to their colleagues and fellow Democrats, Barney Frank and John Olver, two retiring congressmen.
“They stood up every day for men and women in the Commonwealth who wanted the opportunity to succeed,’’ said Representative William Keating, a Bourne Democrat.
Representative James P. McGovern of Worcester called Frank “a Democrat who strikes terror in the hearts of Republicans,” and, in talking about Olver, he alluded to the time the two men were arrested protesting the genocide in Sudan, joking that Olver was a lot of fun in jail.
In his tribute, Representative Edward J. Markey, the dean of the delegation, said, “When they build a Mount Rushmore for liberals, Barney Frank will be up there.’’
Olver gave a short speech, but Frank was not on stage. Also missing was Steve Lynch, the South Boston congressman who is the state’s most conservative Democrat. — NOAH BIERMAN
Correction: Because of a reporting error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the name of the Massachusetts congressman that Representative James P. McGovern was twice arrested with while protesting the genocide in Sudan. That congressman was Representative John Olver.