Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Gov Wannabes Beg or Cruise

Admittedly this is neither a trend nor a big-picture contrast. On the other hand, Tom Reilly and Deval Patrick made very different news splashes yesterday.

He may look like a mortician, but Reilly is a ho-hum, indecisive commonwealth attorney general, who really, really wants to move into the governor's office. The Boston Herald ridiculed his fund-raising on its tabby cover today though. It seems Tom either has bad halitosis, bores people too much, or perhaps hasn't shown that he has the Democratic slot in hand.

For whatever reason, he couldn't get enough toadies to pay $500 to put their plump butts in chairs for his birthday yawner in the big room at 60 State Street. (Perhaps he should have tried the back room at Doyle's. He probably could have filled that up -- both Deval and JP Youth Soccer have in the past.)

The Herald's online head is kinder than its rag one -- Slow ticket sales force freebie AG fund-raiser: $500 a head...or $0, whatever works for you. Below, the article is just as ruthless. It points out that nobody wants to give him cash at all.

"Reilly has shown sluggish fund-raising numbers in 2006," we see. "In the first two weeks of March, he reported receipts of $9,380 compared to Democratic rival Deval Patrick's $57,787 and Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey'’s $191,625, according to state campaign finance records."

Reilly came in flush though. At the end of 2005, he had $3.6 million, Kerry Healey $765,749 and Patrick $514,763.

Reilly's flack reports that 500 paid contributors are lined up for the candle asphyxiation. Yet, the Herald writes that a comped attendant figures that Reilly wants "'to fill the room' to avoid embarrassment." "They are doing crowd-building, doing whatever they can to get people there."

Meanwhile, the Globe-affiliated New England Cable News did a Patrick interview befitting a woman's service magazine or the Parade insert's personal-profile. It was part of their LITE series on getting to know the candidates, personal not platform.

Considering the lame and rambling questions, he came across quite well. Honestly, of the announced and bellowing-outside-the-room candidates, he is the most interesting and the one you'd most like to spend an evening with.

The NECN and Globe talking heads could have been worse. They were inane, but hey, this is cable TV and what cable calls news.

What I learned includes:
  • Deval cooks like I do -- he sees what's in the market or fridge and goes from there. This often means what his family calls peasant food, slow cooked, blended-flavor dishes, like seven-hour lamb.
  • His sixth-grade teacher must have been a gem. She taught the kids from the Chicago projects smatterings of foreign languages and took them to the lyric opera. "She made us feel we could be citizens of the world," he said, "and that's a huge gift."
  • When he got his scholarship and returned home for Thanksgiving, his sister stopped the reunion with "Ooo, he talks like a white boy." Deval was devastated. Their grandmother rescued the family from tension with, "No, he speaks like an educated person."
  • He felt and feels terrific responsibility to live to the expectations of his late grandmother and his family.
His only real stumble was over the hobbyhorse that the Globe likes to ride. When asked about multi-million-dollar mortgages ($27,000 a month payments) and why he would not release his income tax returns, he quickly became defensive. He said he'll fill out the required state political financial forms, but that how much he and his wife make was no one else's business.

Amusingly enough, he is both right and very New England. Talking about how much you have or make has always been déclassé and forbidden in polite circles here.


Anonymous said...

Reilly raised $300,000 at his fundraiser, despite the best efforts of the Boston Herald. Since when is the Herald a reliable source?

massmarrier said...

Well, if you don't read the Herald as well as the Globe, try it. The tabloid often covers angles the broadsheet does not. A little learning is a dangerous thing.