The big takeaway is that none of the three challengers knocked out Da Mare. We are looking at two questions now:
- Will Michael Flaherty or Sam Yoon come in second, getting the other slot on the November 3rd ballot?
- Will the surviving challenger unsheathe the worthy weapons for the real race in the last month and a half?
The only real failure of the evening was McCrea's puerile taunt. He set up the strawman of attempting to prove he would do a better job improving schools by spending a day each week visiting individual ones. That turned into a revisited and re-revisited challenge for each of the three others to do the same. That kind of playground trick almost always backfires. Wave the pledge you wrote and dare the other kids to sign it. When nobody bought, he should have dropped it. He seemed to be the only one who thought that was real clever.
It would have been great to sense real vision by the challengers. After all, each of them points to what they define as major shortcomings in the city. In some cases, they suggest specific ways to improve this or that. However, the only big-picture painted was by Yoon on transportation. He had the guts to suggest we need to do everything we can to accommodate non-motorized vehicular traffic.
Oddly, it as McCrea and not Menino who picked up on and piggybacked on that. The mayor, after all, has lead on cycling efforts. He should have drawn a future of quieter, cleaner, less congested Boston streets filled with ped and cycle traffic instead of cars. It was McCrea during the parking question who said, "Boston shouldn't be about suburban commuters. It should be about the people who live in the city."
He won't make the cut. Whether it ends up being Yoon or Flaherty on September 22nd, he needs to have better tools than he's brought to the workbench so far for the real race. Give us a vision and a path...or inertia wins.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, Boston, Menino, Sam Yoon, McCrea, debate, mayor, Flaherty