The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Moonsigns  |  BandGuide  |  Blogs

Menino's late-game debate: yes, he will


I'd originally titled this post "Menino: No debate after preliminary?" But two things prompted me to change that. First, I hear from a Menino-related source that the mayor still plans to conduct three debates in toto, two before September's preliminary election and one after (assuming he makes it to the final, which I think we can). Second, mayoral challenger Kevin McCrea--whose blog post I originally followed--tells me that I've misread him, or he wasn't clear, or something to that effect:

"Menino's team wasn't saying they won't debate after the primary," McCrea said in an email earlier today. "They are just not going to commit to when that debate is until after the primary. They are still holding to their line of two debates before the primary and one debate after, they just aren't letting anyone know what those debates are and they refuse to meet with the 3 other candidates."

So, there you have it.  The original post follows.


So reports Menino opponent Kevin McCrea, who just attended a campaign/media meeting aimed at finalizing a mayoral-debate schedule.

Here's the obvious follow-up question: if Menino only agrees to hold, say, one debate--and that before the preliminary election--how aggressive will the press be in reporting/commenting on his unwillingness to engage his opponents?

Actually, here's another follow-up: if Menino barely debates, and the media does its damndest to make this a major issue, will the Boston electorate care, or not? After all, and notwithstanding the handsome illustration above, if 57 percent of Bostonians have personally met the mayor, it's hard to turn a paucity of debates into a bigger claim that Menino is out of touch.

  • Ed Fouhy said:

    I represented Mayor Menino at the meeting you reported on under the headline"Menino: no debate after preliminary?" and can state firmly that the account you published, attributed to Kevin McCrea, is inaccurate. Mayor Menino is committed to two debates in the period prior to the preliminary election. If he is successful he will engage his opponent in a general election debate. That position, which was first announced in a campaign press release May 5, was stated and restated by me at today's meeting.

    June 3, 2009 10:27 PM
  • Adam said:

    Yes, Ed, that's why I changed the title and re-posted--along with McCrea's correction/clarification.

    June 4, 2009 6:43 AM
  • Shirley Kressel said:

    You say, "...if 57 percent of Bostonians have personally met the mayor, it's hard to turn a paucity of debates into a bigger claim that Menino is out of touch."  "Out of touch" isn't the issue; he's "out of reach."

    The point is not whether many people meet Menino; that's easy -- go to any ribbon-cutting, or any of his staged festive events where he plays "great white father."  The point is whether people get to find out what he's really done. I've met him many times, and asked him many questions; I have never gotten a straight answer.  This is not the accountability that makes for informed democratic elections.  Shaking hands, kissing babies, cutting ribbons, handing out free donuts -- these are not occasions for serious accountability. Even media interviews are softened for him; I rarely hear a follow-up question to pin him down, and the interviewers rarely know enough about their topics (because City Hall information is so hard to get) to know when they're not getting a real answer.

    He actually told the Boston Herald, "You want me to defend my record. I'm not going to do that."  I'd say that he's out of reach, and thinks he can get away with it. If we are to get serious accountability from him after his 16 years in office, the media, the citizens and the candidates will have to search out the facts of his record; he's not going to help.  

    There should be weekly debates, with an empty chair prominently replacing Hizzoner if he refuses to participate in the democratic process. If they are able to reveal his record, and he doesn't care enough to defend it, so be it.  And the candidates should be allowed to ask each other questions, to get to the bottom of things.  Brief media interviews and random public Q and A's only give candidates enough time to spout self-serving rhetoric.  We need tough follow-up questions -- and the candidates can be depended on to do that.

    June 4, 2009 11:18 AM

Leave a Comment

Login | Not a member yet? Click here to Join

Adam Reilly's daily look at the news and how it's created.

Sunday, June 14, 2009  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group