For Obama and Patrick, a Long Friendship and Political Bond

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BY JULIE PACE, AP Washington Bureau Chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of former President Barack Obama’s close friends and political allies is running for president.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced his campaign on Thursday. Obama and Patrick spoke this week, but the former president is expected to stay neutral in the 2020 race for the Democratic nomination.

Although Obama has ties to several candidates, most notably Joe Biden, his ties to Patrick are unique. The two men were friends well before the White House years and have bonded over shared personal experiences and a strikingly similar approach to politics.

Obama advisers say there are currently no plans for the former president to endorse in the Democratic primary race, though he’s met with most of the major candidates and is said to be following the primary campaign closely.

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