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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Friday, March 29, 2013

Now what?

He was notoriously thin-skinned and stayed too long. But now that Tom Menino is moving on, the political void he leaves behind is obvious.

Of course the same could be said after Ray Flynn headed to the Vatican and an obscure city councilor from Hyde Park moved into the grand office overlooking Faneuil Hall. It was certainly said when Kevin White opted out and paved the way for Flynn.

It appears at least half the council, separately elected but often looking as if it serves at the mayor's discretion, is mulling a run. Speculation will be the parlor game of choice up to the May 13 filing deadline.

The changes in Boston over Menino's reign have been stunning -- architecturally and culturally. The Seaport was born and cranes have been the city's official "bird." True, developers who didn't do his biding found themselves outside looking in (hello Don Chiofaro) and thankfully some of his "visions" like a 100-story tower never left the drawing board.

The changes in the city's soul have been even more profound. The city once seen as the face of Northern racism is now majority-minority and young urban professionals living in South Boston had no experience with Whitey Bulger's neighborhood.

Some of that was simply going to happen on its own. But Menino did help make the city more welcoming.

One of the most amazing facts took awhile to sink in: City Hall was virtually scandal-free (a dust-up about disappeared e-mails and a few minor officials doing wrong). Not even a whiff of personal misconduct from the man who went home to Hyde Park every night.

Age and infirmity have caught up and forced Menino to do what no political sacrificial lamb could do -- leave office. In the end, Menino didn't even overstay his welcome, something a 6th term certainly would have accomplished.

The shoes he leaves behind to fill are almost as large as the oversize bronze footprints of Kevin White visible from his office.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Close enough to April 1st so I will consider this an April Fools post.

March 30, 2013 1:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Riddins!

March 31, 2013 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Riddins!

March 31, 2013 9:59 PM  

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