Why is Menino so popular ?

Hi All:

A recent poll showed that Mayor Menino purportedly enjoys a 72% favorability rating and a whopping 80% with women. Where is the attraction?

Is it the high property tax rate or the lack of city services that makes the public love him so?

His deep commitment to green development? His support of the Bio Terror Lab that makes his constituents hearts flutter? Or is it the string of heinous murders in Boston this year that makes the people feel so safe through his leadership?

Someone please tell me why this chucklehead deserves another term.


Wayne Wilson


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9 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. One big thing

    Tom Menino is an ultra-rare Massachusetts politician who isn't awaiting a better job.  Our junior Senator is killing time until he can run for president, and half the state's Congressional delegation wants his job.  The mayor of Worcester left his job for a ceremonial post with little real weight.  We haven't had a governor who actually wanted to be governor since the mid-80s.  It's nice to see someone in this state enjoying and seemingly dedicated to his job.

    sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  2. i've wondered same thing

    Per Sabutai above, Mayor Menino loves a particular form of being mayor.  He is unlike NYC's Bloomberg (very popular but not Menino popular) in 2 ways.  

    1. He's a tireless guy in terms of hitting all the public meetings.  Wayne, you missed the most amazing number -- not 80% approval, but 50% of those surveyed say they've met the Mayor!  I give him a lot of credit for this.  

    And he's authentic in these situations -- not like some pols who feign being a regular guy.  

    2. He's NOT trying to drive significant change -- in education, safety, housing, transport.  Bloomberg has led a really aggressive reform agenda.  Menino's view of the city is that it's pretty good, so let's tinker, but not create big change.  

    He has a reasonable case, too.  For example, critics would say of every 100 9th graders in Boston's open admissions high schools, less than 10 ever get a college degree; less than 25% of 4th graders can read proficiently; achievement gap at all-time high, etc.  

    But Menino could counter "Hey, we just won a national prize for being best run district in the nation, so those that would cry 'crisis' are just wrong."  

    * * *


    3. He's a generous boss.  He pays workers more than every other mayor.  Tons of cops $100k/year, though of course lots funneled thru details, so hard to run the true numbers.  

    Boston teachers don't get treated as well, but still have shot past the suburban teachers in pay during Menino era -- they're now #1 in MA in pay among 300+ school districts (used to be #150 or something), with most getting 7%+ raises this coming year, and next year, etc.  

    Firefighters are so politically wired that in the end they'll get nice raises in exchange for accepting drug testing.  

    I'm surprised nobody at Globe has run the numbers...Boston public employees may have reached #1 in nation in pay.  

    Unions can generate heat for mayors, but why would anyone punk Menino?  Note how firefighters are mostly attacking their Commissioner, not the Mayor, who they believe they can rely on to "come to the rescue" and give them most of what they want, so long as they allow Mayor to take credit for bringing people together.  

    4. He's honest.  Character counts.  

    5. Shooting/stabbing is mostly contained to Roxbury, Mattapan, and some of Dorchester.  

    Sad to say, but those neighborhoods have much lower voting rates than Rozzie, W Roxbury, Hyde Park, Brighton, Charlestown, Back Bay, Southie, etc (where most voters feel safe).  

  3. He refuses to debate opponents

    like Maura Hennigan a few years ago, so nobody ever sees him challenged. And a gigantic war chest discourages potential opponents, so the law of inertia triumphs. He also manages to take credit for everything that goes right (new library? he did it) and avoid blame for anything that goes wrong (Scolding "the X department", as if they're an independent organization or a rogue subsidiary)

  4. he's so sexy, it hurts.

    isn't it obvious?

  5. He's as Boston as baked beans...

    Seriously, he's been here forever. He had a great track record not too long ago and most of that has stuck, even if his achievements in many cases are ancient history and have become mini disasters (ie crime). As others have pointed out, though, even in the areas that the Mayor can clearly be labeled as not doing his job - they're contained. The high crime has hit certain neighborhoods far worse than others so, on the aggregate, most Bostonians feel safe, while a few areas feel terrorized.

    The bottom line is great politicians have the ability to make their constituents feel comfortable with them. There's no major opposition to the Governor from the circles in the city that could mount an opposition - unions, etc. The city is relatively prosperous and growing. People feel happy and, with a mayor who's so good at doing the local events and meeting his constituents, it's hard to mount a credible challenge against him. Unfortunately, he's going to be there until he decides to leave... and I don't think that's going to be any time soon.  

    • Never worked for the city under Menino

      Hi All:

      I wasn't praising this inept person who people miraculously like. I haven't come to praise him....you know the rest.

      He has done anything regarding green development. His moronic response during the "Lite Brite" fiasco didn't make me proud to be a Bostonian. These are just two of many reasons that he should call it quits and give someone else the chance to lead this city into the 21st century.

      Sincerely, Wayne Wilson Roslindale

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Thu 18 Dec 11:37 PM