Friday, November 18, 2005

Under Tom's Thumb

Surely you haven't tired of Boston mayoral politics. The Maura fantasizers seem to have pulled their covers up over their eyes and mouths. Now comes the fun for the rest of us.

Those who would have made mouthy Maura into a super-hero are quiet now. They poured the marshmallow fluff that was Hennigan into the Mayor Action Figure mold. When it opened during the campaign, not only did she not have super-powers, she couldn't even stand on her own.

In the coming four years, by the next election for mayor, we need to find a real hero. We strongly believe that our only shot is to start looking now and evaluate regularly. Leaving it to chance will at its best promise us only what we got this time. Maura was the only one with the guts to step up, and she didn't have the stuff.Menino with ballerinas=

Fortunately, over at the Boston Phoenix, Adam Reilly of Talking Politics, has picked up the drumbeat. He joined today with Is it Menino forever? We advise grabbing the file or a Fee-Knocks as a playbill. His feature is bodacious and beautiful bull, but he lists the current key and minor characters to watch.

Reilly also handicaps them, absurd on the face of it, but necessary as a placeholder. Don't wave those figures in his face in 2009. He had the nerve to name names.

A wrinkle that we have all fallen into is Da Mare's pre-election boast that he won't rule out a fifth term. We have already predicted a few times that this is his last term and Reilly agrees. However, it is easy to understand Tom's statement as politics.

First, if he wants to leave with a couple more major accomplishments, he needs folk in Council Chambers and the General Court and Governor's office to help him. If he starts a four-year term saying that he's a lame duck, other politicians will drum their fingers when he talks, if they sit down with him at all.

It is wise to pretend that he'll go for 20 years. It would be brilliant — a huge stretch for Menino — if he picked and groomed his successor, say two to three years in the term. Then he could even get reflected glory as king maker and mentor to the next guy...as in, "He never would have done these great things if I hadn't put him in office."

So, for now, check the feature, think about the existing candidates, start figuring out what we need from a Mayor Action Figure. Reilly offers a little insight mixed with a lot of gossip and many clich├ęs. It's enough to warm the wintery evening.

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