Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mayor Menino Comes Heavy

At the end, he claimed he loves this stuff, talking to media including podcasters. Boston Mayor Tom Menino sure seemed to today.

He was on the Left Ahead! show and didn't exhibit any doubts or fears. On the other hand, I confess to multiple surprises. First, for someone with the reputation for avoiding commenting, he wasn't that hard to book. Second, for a man who used to bristle at anything remotely resembling criticism, he jumped right into subjects that suggest problems arose or worsened with him at the helm.

I had no intention of badgering or tricking him, but I figured I would have to educe candor. I had mis-prepared myself. He was in his element and surely could have taken much rougher questions.

Judge for yourself off the player below. Note that he was at a school function and joined in about ten and one-half minutes into the show.

Local political observers almost to a one give Menino a huge advantage over his three challengers in his election. They cite his $1.5 million or so campaign bag of cash as well as his large set of union, government employee and general supporter minions.

Plus, there's the inertia factor. Yeah, he's been there for 16 years, but he's that devil the voters know.

He has some hungry and capable challengers. Over at Left Ahead! we have also chatted with:
We used the same format with each as with Menino. They came on solo, made their pitch about why they would be the best mayor, and did it without trick questions or surprise guests.

Menino was the last in the series. With his reputation, particularly in the Boston Globe, for avoiding debate, conflict and commenting on his record, I figured he'd be canny and evasive.

Instead, he foreshadowed his role in the two scheduled pre-primary debates. With us, he waded right into roiling waters. He admitted to numerous Boston flaws, such as uneven school quality, increased homelessness, and stalled development literally leaving holes in Downtown Crossing. Instead of being defensive, he had a two-prong response to our and his own points:
  1. He had numbers and trends showing improvements in each area of concern
  2. He did not accept his critics' claims that conditions had worsened
For one example of what to expect, check his 6/9/9 speech to the Boston College CEO Club. He held that schools are well on their way and getting better. We heard some of these points today as well.

Setting aside the money and foot soldier advantages, consider how tough it will be to debate someone who refuses to let you advance your premises without struggle and contradiction. Again breaking stereotype, he might end up being the debate king or at least not losing.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Anonymous said...

"Massmarrier"... DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
Recklessly and eroneously reporting on an individual is just BAD journalism! Bill Trabucco worked hard to bring dignity, and honor to his mother. To the point that he made history by being the "ONLY" person to ever successfully get to verdict in a Medical Malpractice Trial in this country as a Pro se counsel. His skill level and innovative ideas are leaps and bounds ahead of ALL the other candidates. Not to mention, he does not accept ANY donations! Bill made it clear that everyone deserves a voice, and not just people who can afford to write checks. Thanks Ryan Whitcom

massmarrier said...

I suspect this anon meant for this rant to go with the first-glance wrap-up of the candidates here. I can pull a Pontius Pilate and cleanse myself of the guilt, as I warned up front it was a snap judgment on looking at the websites.

Revisiting his, I must say it remains the most risible of the lot.