Sunday, October 16, 2005

More Maura/Menino

Re-Warning: Still off topic.

Menino and ducklingsToday's Boston papers are rife with riffs on the mayoral race. This is a promising sign of coverage right into election day (Tuesday, November 8th; do it!).

The Herald continues its new-found disdain for their former darling contender. However, the Globe has detailed coverage of Hennigan's new TV spots and columnist Eileen McNamara reads like she is on Maura's payroll.

Until this week, the normally anti-Menino Herald took every chance to slam him and elevate her. The lack of a plan for Boston and her poor showing before college students and on a radio tallk show seem to have shifted the tab's editors.

Today's article, which I don't see on the Net, headlines 'Whiner' label menances Hennigan. Buried on page 16, it hits her with the complaints we have made. Former Councilor Peggy Davis-Mullen said, "The clock is ticking. Maura should talk about what she's going to do...don't attack him, don't be perceived as someone who's just a whiner."

The article noted that while she speaks frequently on if-only-he'd-debate-me-oh-boy, her other press conferences have been 1) bragging that she had a hybrid SUV before Tommy, 2) she mortgaged her extensive realty for campaign cash, 3) niggling about power outages in big storms, and 4) pitching long school days.

Her best promises to the Herald were that she'd return an elected school committee and knock Menino for major companies' merging and leaving town for the bigger HQ.

She fares much better in the Globe. McNamara, always a Tommy hater, does a better job than Hennigan slamming in Menino. She uses the same few out-of-context examples that Maura does, but she is far more articulate. Whether you believe that those create a picture of poor mayoral performance in general, Maura could look at how a personal attack should be done by reading this column.

On the news side, a long article in the city/region section praises and covers in detail Hennigan's TV ads. We haven't seen them yet — starting on air tomorrow — but this piece makes us want to watch.

The 950 Make Way for Menino spots cost her $26,000 and have started running on cable TV. Granted, she limits her audience with these bargain buys, but it looks like people will talk about these clever attacks.

Tom likes to be with his voters, including the annual Make Way for Ducklings ceremonies. That gave the Hennigan crew lots of promising pictures, along with the theme that he's ducking issues again.

It looks like good fun, childish perhaps, but still fun in a pretty dull campaign so far. The main points are the same few she has been kicking around the block until they are ragged, but in a memorable set of spots, she does not have to show much substance.

The only dash of reality in the humorous preview came from former Councilor Michael McCormack. He said "Hennigan was better off running postiive ads about herself. 'What she needs to do from here on out is tell the voters how she is going to be a better mayor than Tom Menino.'"

Tom's newly thickened skin will surely be tested. Perhaps we can heat city hall with the steam from his ears.

After-post: That attack ad is available now for your viewing pleasure.

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