Walsh’s “State-of-the-City”: a clarion call

If you want to hear everything our national government now is not, listen to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh's state-of-the-city address.  In a rousing half-hour speech at Symphony Hall, he credibly held out Boston as a model to be emulated nationally. It was a spirited reminder of how pathetically the federal government is failing to meet …

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Gube race: Baker less visionary, more realistic

Candidate A once held the position of Secretary of Administration and Finance, nicknamed the deputy governor of the Commonwealth.  He was also an executive in a health care company, a sector that is vital to everyone in the state and a driver of the economy. He is a really good guy.  Candidate B, well, he …

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Charlie Baker: the vision thing

For Democrats hoping to unseat Republican Governor Charlie Baker in 2018, my advice is: hang onto your day job.  Would-be opponents will charge that Baker may be an okay manager, but he lacks  vision. Making the charge stick will be difficult, if not impossible. Baker's immediate goals upon taking office may have lacked rhetorical flourish. They were: rebuilding relationships …

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Charlie Baker on tightrope, moves carefully

Governor Charlie Baker's life is a balancing act - a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, a reasonable and enlightened moderate while the top of his party is anything but. With an entirely blue Congressional delegation, he will be, for better or worse, this state's interlocutor with a potentially vengeful Trump administration. He took a rhetorical …

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Charlie Baker: Massachusetts infrastructure champion?

Tom Menino, the self-styled urban mechanic, held the office of Boston Mayor an historic 21 years by making the city work for people, at least for most people. Charlie Baker, whose favorability ratings as governor of Massachusetts reach easily into the 70's, wants to make state government work. Transportation will be a key test of whether …

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Walsh stands tall: now how about Boston 2030?

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who has long seemed in thrall to the Boston 2024 Olympic bid, said at a press conference this morning that he refuses "to mortgage the future of the city away." He added, "I will not sign a document that puts one penny of taxpayers' money on the line for Olympics cost …

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Charlie Baker: charm, practicality and reassurance

The question during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign was often "Will the real Charlie Baker please stand up?"  Today, Governor Baker stood before a meeting of the New England Council, the real Charlie Baker, the one I knew from his days in the highest echelons of the Weld and Cellucci administrations.  He is smart, comfortable in …

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Will Marty Walsh become another Michael Bilandic?

Will Marty Walsh become the next Michael Bilandic?  Bilandic was the first Chicago Mayor to try to fill the large shoes left when Mayor-for-life Richard Daley died in 1976. Walsh, of course, replaced our own Mayor-for-Life, Tom Menino and is working to make the job his own. Bilandic's first challenges were negotiating the shoals of …

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T troubles from the can kicked down the road

In Mumbai, train service was once so slow passengers rioted and burned train stations.  In Bangkok, a one-way commute can take four hours.  Manila's public transport relies on Jeepneys, modeled on WW II jeeps and hazardous to passenger comfort and safety.  But the performance of the MBTA of late shows Greater Boston has the best Third World transit system …

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Governor Baker: can he be a compassionate fiscal manager?

The late Governor Mario Cuomo, a stirring orator, told the once significant The New Republic in 1985, "You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose"  In a clear break from his predecessor Deval Patrick,  Governor Charlie Baker may never deliver soaring rhetoric. He  didn't even do that during the poetry part of the campaign. But Baker was …

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