Friday, September 08, 2006

Tom "The Ork" Reilly

Tiny, malamute-blue eyes squinting from a gaunt, pointed face -- Tom Reilly doesn't look like an ork (or orc from the movies). Yet from his performance in this year's gubernatorial campaign, we figure he puts the ork in coworker.

Particularly from last evening's Dem candidate debate, we are damned sure that he'd be a terrible office mate and a much worse boss. When he's in court, hiding behind his, if you pardon the term, briefs, he doesn't show his nature.

Now we know, as G.I. Joe characters used to say, and knowing is half the battle.

For all but his most delusional supporters, Reilly completed the destruction of his campaign last night. Now, even before the race to the general election, we can't help but wonder where his handlers have been and how did he turn a huge campaign war chest and high personal recognition into failure.

Absent any evidence or commentary from his campaign workers, we have to assume this is Tom at his Tom-est. For example, in the debate we saw:
  • Reilly repeatedly snapping fingers to "prove" what a great manager and leader he was.
  • Reilly telling us again and again to trust him to run the big show or handle crises because, just because.
  • Reilly many times iterating that whatever the challenge, he could do it, he was that kind of guy.
We watched the debate with our Boston Latin School student, who had that as an assignment. We restrained ourselves. Even in our silence, we heard him hooting and snorting at Tom's bluster and jive. Our AG is not credible even to a 16-year-old.

Tom's petty and childish verbal assaults on the other candidates did not sound desperate. Perhaps if he had a better grip on reality, he would feel that level of panic.

Instead, Tom was somewhere between Perry Mason and Vlad the Impaler. His out-of-his-back-pocket insults and accusations were apparently intended as some melodramatic breakthrough to prove something to someone. Instead, his "So there!" became "So what?"

To the point at hand then, has he staffed his campaign with toadies who are afraid to disagree with him and who let him make such blunders repeatedly? We have to conclude that he likely is following his personal strategy and is too arrogant and egotistic to see how it has failed him from the beginning.

From his public appearances, and particularly last evening, Tom seems to be cocksure and patronizing. He doesn't even rise to the classical tragic image of an otherwise great person with a single flaw.

If he is as he appears, he does not brook dissent. Nor would he be likely to analyze and present his positions to convince voters. Instead, he would be authoritative -- snapping his fingers as proof and saying with great conviction that he can do anything, and better than anyone. Oh, that's what he did.

Such confidence is great on a wrestling mat. It can work well on a battlefield. It has failed Tom as he as failed his own campaign this year.

Until insiders can inform us otherwise, we assume that Tom bulled ahead, just knowing that his attitude was all that was necessary to whip those pathetic voters into line. Well, that may work in the DA's office or the Attorney General's, at least when he's the top dog. Grrrr.

Without the power of position, he faces what seems to be humiliating to him -- asking for the favor of a vote, having to present reasons to support him rather than simply obey him. He either doesn't get it or can't bring himself to do it.

As cliché would have it in failed quests, we think of the Terry Malloy character in On the Waterfront talking to his brother in the backseat of the limo. "I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."

There appears to be no one else to blame in this featurette. Reilly has managed his bout onto the canvas. Ding. Ding. KO.

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Bruce said...

Not much to disagree with there. You pretty much nailed it.

Sportin' Life said...

After the horrible, preventable tragedy in which Milena Del Valle lost her life, Reilly rushed to get himself on teevee with the promise of criminal charges. He was grandstanding, but so what? Who among us wasn't saying, "Well, goddamn right. Go Tom."

What has it amounted to? Nothing. He completely disappeared, and the odious Willard swooped in to fill the void of leadership. It's so typical of Reilly. Sometimes he almost manages to convince you that he's capable of accomplishing something, but then he fumbles--exposes his poor instincts, his lack of foresight, his lack of managerial competence, and his absolute inability to make decisions and lead.

Terry Malloy turned himself into a hero--not a boxer, but a real hero. (Well, okay it was the movies, but you know what I mean.) Reilly's going to do no such thing. He's frittered away his whole campaign, and he's going to disappear.

Anonymous said...

"we are damned sure that he'd be a terrible office mate and a much worse boss."

I know someone who works for Reilly...he is not a Reilly supporter, not in the least.

The other day I was talking to a biz collegue (a Repub), who knows Reilly personally for whatever reason. I think the word he used was "asshole."

It seems to fit the pattern of his constant attacking ways...

massmarrier said...

And right you are too, Sportin' Life, about the Terry Malloy allusion. That's a risk about being in love with one. I am with you in not seeing the deep-seated principles working in Mr. Reilly.

I found it amusing that in the debate he tried to set himself up as so opposed to the Romney administration. Yet, in one decision after another he has backed the Republican governor's regressive positions.

Tell me again, what traits make a Tom a Democrat?

And Ms. Lynne, I am shocked, shocked at your language. Far be it from me to criticize...

LOL ;-0

Anonymous said...

after meticulous searching, i did find one vote for tom. check out the hilarity at massnews. its always my first stop when i need a good laugh.