“Better than Tom Finneran.” That’s a pretty sorry indictment in itself. But then, being Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives has always been a fun job. See how you do on the Speaker quiz.
1. Who was the first Democrat to be Speaker of the Massachusetts House?
2. Which indicted Speaker died from complications of acute alcoholism before his case came to trial?
3. Republican Christian Herter became governor in 1952 after serving as Speaker. Since then how many Speakers have moved on to the Governor’s chair?
4. Who was the longest-serving Speaker in modern times?
1. Tip O’Neill in 1949. Before that Republicans held the Speakership for 83 consecutive years. Next time a GOP-er complains about “one-party rule in Massachusetts,” lob that back.
2. John Thompson of Ludlow (Ludlow?) who styled himself “the Iron Duke.” His liver, not so iron.
4. Tom McGee of Lynn (“better than a weekend in Ludlow”). Ten years. This illustrates the inverse relationship between intellect and length of term as Speaker. No indictments, however.