This question is particularly acute for Patrick because, although he has always been thought of as a potentially strong presidential candidate, on economic issues his profile is not exactly built to warm the hearts of the Democratic base. "I'm here to talk about why I'm running for president".
Patrick, who is not widely known across the country, made history as the first black governor of MA.
The late entries months before the first primary contests highlight the volatility of the race and Democrats' worries that the Biden's candidacy may be weakening.
He acknowledged the other Democrats who have already been running for months.
Patrick will also be hard pressed to find experienced staff to run his operation.
Patrick announced his bid Thursday in an online video. The changing plans of Patrick and Bloomberg are stinging indictments of the current candidate field, especially former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden's sometimes unsteady performance on the stump has left some voters questioning whether the 78-year-old is up to taking on Trump.
"I wouldn't be in it if I didn't think I could win it", Patrick told Johnson.
But that ambition may be stymied by the campaigns of two fellow New Englanders in the race, Massachusetts Sen. It sounds remarkably akin to themes New Jersey Sen.
Then he will head to New Hampshire's State House to file paperwork to be on the primary ballot there - one day before the deadline - before moving on to California, Nevada, Iowa and SC, according to a Democrat familiar with his plans.
And Patrick's connections to Obama's political world continue.
To find the last Bay Stater who actually won a presidential election, you have to go back to John F. Kennedy - or, if we're being generous, President George H.W. Bush, who was born in Milton, but is more closely tied to Texas and Maine.
Patrick's MA record is mixed.
Warren replied: "I'm not here to criticize other Democrats".
Patrick's service on the board of the parent company of Ameriquest, a subprime lender, was a liability when he initially ran for governor in 2006 and would likely come up again if his candidacy for president gains traction. He fired many more from their jobs. It looks as if Patrick wanted to jump in and get his name listed given that New Hampshire is the neighbor to his home state of MA.
Still, he faces a steep uphill climb.
In his favor, Patrick will be able to point to his successes as a two-term governor and his personal friendship with Barack Obama. Many Obama staffers are already working for other candidates or have left the political arena. He raised the state sales tax and implemented the healthcare law that had been enacted under Romney, which vastly expanded access to insurance and became the model for the federal Affordable Care Act. Just a few hours after his announcement, he was savagely ratioed as people brought up his fundraising (mostly big donors), his record (defending big corporations against allegations of human rights abuses, then securing enormous tax breaks for big corporations as governor), and his connections (Republican donor Roland Arnall, who made millions by shackling inner-city homeowners to toxic subprime mortgages).