Thursday, December 15, 2005

Reilly Tries Roots

Like an kid with ADHD, our Mitt Romney has turned away. We won't miss his ineffectual governorship, but hey, Capt. Brylcreem is a caricaturist's dream. Tom Reilly has the turtle look, Deval Patrick is baby-faced, and Kerry Healey does the bobble-head doll thing, but none of them is as smarmy as the Captain.

Brylcreem adRomney's announcement that he would not run for re-election was non-news after he had all but said it for most of the year. Yet, it lets loose the dogs.
  • Healey can campaign openly and try to pretend she has been doing worthwhile things in a worthless office.
  • Reilly will be able to present himself as the only real chance to keep yet another Republican from keeping the commonwealth government inert.
  • Patrick gets his one, big, long shot at proving that he's not just a slick kid from Chicago.
Even before the Captain's formal withdrawal, the two Democrats were elbowing each other. The best preview may be in this week's Bay State Banner. Reporter Yawu Miller followed each as he made his best pitch in Roxbury.

Note: This link will be good for the week only.

Interestingly enough, both can appeal to the folk in African-American neighborhoods and in the Snooton and Swellsley fiefdom's. Reilly plays the commonwealth's action guy, who understands how to make things happen. Patrick is a much better speaker and he has a real platform that he has not been afraid to present to praise or potshots. Neither Reilly's indecisiveness nor Patrick's relative Blackness seems to hamper him.

Reilly had his peanut gallery of 40 when he showed at the Merengue Restaurant. He played the deep roots in the city in general and Roxbury in particular, an obvious contrast to newcomer Patrick. He is also working the State House Black Caucus for support.

At Reilly's side were former Suffolk DA Ralph Martin (Republican but well respected in minority communities), a couple of former assistant AGs, and State Representatives Marie St. Fleur and Marinie Torres. It was a feel-good time, during which he stressed his ties to Roxbury leaders.

Patrick, on the other hand, pulled in three times as many folk at the Freedom House, including a bucket of Black activists and folk representing Councilor Chuck Turner and Rep. Byron Rushing. His intro was from a tag team of Rep. Gloria Fox and Sen. Dianne Wilkerson. The latter said, "He's the best man for the job. He's going to bring the diverse communities together."

Patrick turned his presentation into his usual Q&A. Reilly hesitates to put positions out, at least yet, choosing to talk about his AG service.

The article notes, "While Patrick'’s credentials as the head of former President Clinton'’s Civil Rights Division have gotten his foot in the door, Patrick has had to make up for what he lacks in local connections with an aggressive schedule of town meetings." That's exactly what he's been up to for months.

The recap of their pitches included:
Patrick'’s message resonated with the crowd at Freedom House as readily as did Reilly'’s at Merengue. While Patrick'’s address outlined his proposed policy initiatives, Reilly focused his on his record as attorney general –— supporting Lynn'’s voluntary desegregation program, in-state tuition rates for the children of undocumented immigrants, fighting for public charities to benefit from the sale of the Boston Red Sox and other public policy victories.
This may be the race we wanted for Boston mayor, real choices and real issues.

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