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Deval Patrick warns Hillary Clinton: Inevitability is "off-putting"

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Sunday that he's not ready to run for president in 2016 -- but he had some advice for one potential candidate who's looking readier by the day.

Patrick, a Democrat, was asked by NBC News about the conventional wisdom that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will run away with the Democratic nomination if she decides to mount a bid.

"Secretary Clinton has been an extraordinary public servant and would be a terrific candidate for president," Patrick said. "But I think the narrative that it's inevitable is off-putting to regular voters."

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"I don't mean that as a criticism of her; I just think people read inevitably as entitlement," he added. "And the American people want, and ought to want, their candidates to sweat for the job, you know, to actually make the case for why they're the right person for the right time."

Early polls have shown Clinton far ahead of her potential primary opponents. Apart from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who hails from Patrick's state of Massachusetts, and Vice President Biden, other Democrats barely factor into the survey data. And even those two are behind Clinton by over 50 points in some polls.

Despite his reservations about Clinton's mantle of inevitability, though, Patrick clarified he's not touting himself as an alternative.

"I've thought about it, but no, I can't get ready for 2016," the governor said. "This is the first elected office I've held, and it has been two really challenging, fun terms...But I didn't run for the job to get another job -- just to do this job."

Patrick also weighed in on the recent midterm elections that handed Republicans control of the Senate and added to the GOP majority in the House. He said it was a "huge mistake" for vulnerable Democrats to distance themselves from President Obama, but he allowed that the president could do a better job of selling the strength of his own record.

"One problem I think that the president has is that he doesn't tell that story very well or very regularly," Patrick said.

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