Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Surrogate Mouths for Menino

The vortex of mayoral campaign ads continues to suck us deeper, deeper. Perhaps this post will be the last.

Today's Boston papers made us do it. The Globe has a bright about how the sculptor of the ducklings in the Public Garden has her nose out of joint about Hennigan using the kiddy icons she herself used. The Herald describes Menino's new cable ads.

Da Mare gets to take the high road, in contrast to Maura Hennigan's funny, but LITE ads. His are not as funny, but they have a good punch line.

We cannot find them on the Net yet, but the Herald recaps with:
In the ads, a beaming Menino presides over a rapid-fire repeat of feel-good accomplishments such as cleaner neighborhoods, lower crime and a good biotech industry, all rattled off by what appear to be happy citizens.
"Hey, I'd say it myself, but I can't talk that fast,'' Menino says, poking fun at his notoriously tangled tongue.
They stress his incremental improvements. In contrast, Hennigan's campaign and ads tend to be whiny and do not develop any vision she might have for Boston. His are so-so. Hers are so what?

He is in the luxurious position of being the long-reigning mayor, in effect, the champ. He would have had to be a total incompetent not to have successes he can highlight, devoted constituents and trends he can claim are his own doing. He is in a much better position than a city councilor to affect major policy areas.

So, Maura would have to blind us with brilliance. Piling on the B.S. and throwing a handful of mixed valid and lame criticisms have not cut it, nor should they. Unfortunately, even after starting a radio and TV attack campaign against him, she stays down low with her response to Menino's response with, "He twists it so the poor people in this city, he says something and they just think it's true, but he's taking the city backwards. All you have to do is look at our educational test scores that go down, our crime rate goes up, we live in the most expensive city to live in, our constituent services are failing and we have major corporations leaving right and left."

Unfortunately for her, each of those talking points is moot and out of context, such as the tenuous connection between Menino's administration and realty prices. We remain disappointed that she has neither a solid replacement program for Boston nor a cohesive critique of Menino's failed policy. Of course, if she had developed the latter, she would have had a good basis for the vision she has never demonstrated. Even Joan of Arc knew she had to talk it up to manifest her vision.

Menino's ads start today on cable and like Hennigan's run into election day, November 8th. They came from Steve Murphy, media consultant to Democrats (and no relation to the city councilor of that name).

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