Rest in Peace Mayor Menino: Job Well Done

(1) Tom_MeninoSo Mayor Tom Menino has gone on to his reward. An amazing man who was able to hold on to a political job that used to be highly contested for five terms or twenty years. He was active right up until the penultimate hour traveling about as he publicized out his autobiography, “Mayor for a New America.”

I never met the man but admired him from afar. I first heard of him when he was thinking of running for a Congressional seat that was opening. The reason I recall that is that the guy I was working for at the time, Bill Delahunt, was also thinking of the same thing. Menino was a city counselor in Boston at the time.

His reign began in 1993. Throughout the many years he operated without any scandal which was a great thing for the city. He presided over its slow growth into what it has become today. It’s a shame he did not have more years to enjoy his retirement with his family.

With his passing one must remember the cruelty Howie Carr showered on him. Mayor Menino was not the smoothest speaker and occasionally stumbled when uttering his speeches, which one will do when speaking from the heart, or he’d get involved with one of my bêtes noires the malapropism. I empathized with him because sometimes the words just don’t come out as intended.

Howie called him “Mayor Mumbles.” Tom Menino was a good and humble man doing his best. It must have been hard for him to be made fun off because he was not the most fluent of speakers. Early in his term whenever he could Howie would play one of the mayor’s speech stumbles and have a delightful time mocking him. I always thought that was cruel. Howie delights in kicking people when they are down or in trouble. We’ve see it with other people as Howie’s mocking of Billy Bulger as a corrupt midget commenting on his height.

Mayor Menino was what Howie would call a hack. He was a politician which Howie holds out as the lowest of callings. Mayor Menino showed us the importance of having good people take on those jobs and not be deterred by the name calling of radio hosts.

The Mayor prided himself on believing that no one should be discriminated against. All were welcome based on their merits and not the color of their skin, their heritage or sexual preference. Howie calls people who believe that moonbats.

Mayor Menino was the polar opposite of people like Howie. Howie makes his living preaching hate; Menino did it by preaching fairness and inclusiveness. Howie has constantly denigration people of Latin heritage playing Mexican music and his reading off Latin names from police blotters. The men viewed what it was to be a Bostonian and an America in starkly different ways.

Mayor Menino is a good example for all to follow. He wasn’t perfect. He tried to treat all people as he would like to have been treated. Having experience the pains of being discriminated against as a child he carried on determined to do all he could to see that no other child would ever have to suffer as he did.

There are many more who know him better than I and who will be better able to tell his tale. I add my two cents not wanting the moment to pass without a little reflection upon him. May he rest in peace.

5 thoughts on “Rest in Peace Mayor Menino: Job Well Done

  1. Matt, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Mayor Menino was a great person and Mayor he
    Will be missed dearly. He had more class in his little finger than howie carr could dream
    Of. Mayor Menino shoes can never be filled. You can fill howie carrs
    with cement or s–t take your pick. howie Carr was mean, disrespectful , unscrupulous ,
    etc. to a kind and loving and dedicated person to all. PLEASE EVERYONE REMEMBER THOMAS MENINO IN YOUR PRAYERS

    1. 251:

      Menino was a good guy. I don’t think we can fill Carr’s shoes with s–t since they’ve been filled with that already.

  2. I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Menino on several occasions over the years from his initial run for mayor when I talked with him in a coffee shop on Beacon Hill. Tom was always a gentlemen. He was also always a true public servant, selfless, honest to the core, ran an honest open administration, and put people first. People over politics! Tom was a gem. A very nice man!

  3. Matt :

    As stated I loathe hypocrisy. Carr is Carr. You seem to place me at times in position of devil’s advocate for him . If you knew me better you would have the irony of this clearly appear to you. No matter. I detest Howie’s denigration of Billy Bulger over the years. I also long ago detected that in his black heart of hearts Carr has a grudging, but real, though darkly secret, admiration of Billy’s high order of intelligence and political charisma. He reveals this when he quotes various Boly witticisms on his show as his way of saltily capping off some political critique or another of a person who he is lambasting. As for Jimmy, all is fair in love and war, and paradoxically Howie has done more to immortalize Jimmy Bulger than any single person I can think of, in print . He was bullied back in the day. He lashed back. Hw takes on the political sacred cows regardless of ethnicity or the suffocating political correctness that, Matt, is the real road to perdition down which our beloved America is being led. So Matt, while fully conscious of Carr’s less than desirable qualities, I still recognize that he possesses solid virtues as well. Tommy Menino apparently thought so too. Tommy was no word wizard and was the first to admit it. The fact is though that Tommy was a very very very bright guy !!! The two do not mutually exclude each other. It was the fatal misstep of his personal and political foes to believe they did. Carr in his own comically ebullient way looked Tommy’s malaprops in the face and poked fun at what the hypocrites secretly derided behind Tommy’s back. There is an honesty in that. If Tommy was not able, like me, to take Howie with a large grain of salt, then he would not have taken what was really a very touching picture with him that appeared in the Herald three weeks ago. RIP MR
    MAYOR …You were indeed a very nice man !!!

  4. I never knew Menino
    other than reading the National Inquirer about him. oops, I meant Boston Herald….

    Every once in a while we break out the
    projector in the back room of Flying
    Pond Variety , grab our Green Mountain coffee lattes, and watch old grainy 16 MM footage
    of Mennino’s rise to power.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lktr4qBEEr4

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