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March 18, 2013

Zingers and self-mockery lighten up political scene


Mayoral politics were on the menu as well, as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino once again provided clues but no definite answer to the question of whether he will run for re-election this year. The rare retirement of a pope provided a ready allegory for Menino, who has been in office a record nearly 20 years.

“Interesting that no one told the pope that it was a lifetime job, you know, like mayor of Boston,” Menino said. “So no pope has retired in over 600 years. See, don’t worry guys, only 580 more years to go . . . Can you imagine someone with supreme power stepping down and letting someone else take over? Me either.”

Boston City Councilor John Connolly, who has announced his own run for mayor, slipped into the mayor’s seat while he was speaking, only to be scolded by Menino from the podium.

“Hey kid, get your own seat. Get in the back row, will ya,” Menino said.

Later, as Menino was making his way out of the building, Connolly took the microphone and said, “If anyone has any questions on my candidacy I’ll be out in the parking lot. My car will be the one that’s been towed.”

Boston City Council President Stephen Murphy’s jokes at the expense of the mayor later in the program left him wondering about the fate of his car, as well.

“I’ve known Tom Menino for 41 years. And he looks the same: old,” Murphy said. “I won’t say he’s losing his step, though, but last week it took him an hour and a half to watch Sixty Minutes.” As the crowd reacted, Murphy said, “My car is being towed now, folks.”

Rep. Nick Collins (D-South Boston) also unleashed some zingers at the expense of House Speaker Robert DeLeo and the treasurer, and the crowd’s reaction left the candidate for Sen. Jack Hart’s recently vacated seat contemplating the necessity of leaving the lower chamber for the upper chamber.

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