- Neighborhood good guy (or rarely good gal) elected to City Council
- After a couple of terms and much politicking, elected Council President
- Mayor finally decides to step down
- Council President elected mayor
Goodness, it is, as Yoda might say. A mayor should have governmental experience and the Council is a logical place.
On the other hand, Councilors and Mayors alike invariably carp that the Mayor is too little power, because he is beholden to the state, can't tax the many state and federal operations, and sees the city's money go to support the rest of the state. Likewise, they complain that what power there is in government here all goes to the Mayor, that the Council is almost impotent.
So, we sit at a table illustrating the state of the city politic. One candidate has done a pretty good job as long-term mayor but is neither Cicero nor Caesar, not the orator nor the great leader. The other is like a football player at the end of her career. She wants a Super Bowl ring before she goes out. Yet, she lacks a vision or a plan to turn a good team into a championship one.
It is a less than satisfying meal. On the voter, media and blogger side, we have most of us going for Menino. He's the devil we know, he's accomplished a lot, and Hennigan has planned this for four years and couldn't come up with a program for the city. The Phoenix and the bloggers who have endorsed Hennigan seem to have unreasonable, but understandable, hopes that somehow once she got in office, the Vision Fairy would come to her new office, touch her forehead with a wand, and good things would rain upon us while she reigned.
So, our job as do-gooder pinkos is to look at the current field, consider them, and look ahead to the mayor we deserve.
President Michael Flaherty has the traditional lead for 2010. Yet, he has a folk hero, Felix Arroyo, a leader and voter favorite in Council. If Sam Yoon get an at-large seat, he may wow us too and come from behind. Although, in Boston terms, four years is scant tenure.
Flaherty is in the old mold, and not nearly populist enough for me. Arroyo is very promising and has not let his pragmatism overrule his compassion.
Is there someone else we need to look at? Is our champion among those three?
Wednesday, let the auditions begin!