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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Goodbyes -- and hello

John Kerry and a couple of state legislators may have said "adios" yesterday, but it's pretty clear one pol with longevity plans to stick around.

Massachusetts may be looking at a special election to replace Secretary of State Kerry, but voters going to the polls this year in Boston are likely to see a familiar name when they pull their ballot.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino left little doubt he would take a stab at another term as he delivered his State of the City address to an adoring crowd in Faneuil Hall.  OK, he didn't come right out and say it -- and I was honestly waiting for a surprise Lyndon Johnson moment -- but Tommy from Hyde Park left little doubt he would go for a sixth term.

And the movement of a number of Boston politicians -- like Rep. Marty Walz and Sen. Jack Hart -- into the private sector suggests a logjam remains in terms of locally available offices.

Menino's speech was a personal triumph after a very rough few months battling a variety of ailments. The stagecraft, walking down the aisle with just the aid of a cane, was intended to show that he may have been bloodied but he remains unbowed.

The speech itself (at least the last half that I heard) was unremarkable -- a typical list of Menino small ball. Menino continues to mangle the language (woman is NOT plural) but it's not so much the words as the sentiment behind it that continues to get him elected.

That and the lack of any serious, substantial challengers.

But while 2013 may be an off year save for city elections, it seems to be shaping up as a barnburner.  Ed Markey appears to no longer have the Democratic field to himself in race to succeed Kerry and the entry of Steve Lynch, the pride of Southie, could give Menino a chance to get his campaign machine tuned up.

Meanwhile, Scott Brown appears to be inching to yet another Senate run in which the polls show him the early favorite -- from name recognition alone. But will familiarity backfire with a third run in four years?


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