For the first time in twenty years, Boston has a mayor that’s not Thomas “Mumbles” Menino. When Menino announced last year that he would not seek a sixth term, the political climate of Boston erupted with a fervor of novelty as several candidates came forward seeking the position. Martin J. Walsh became the city’s 54th mayor in November and settled into the position earlier this month.
So what’s there to expect from the seemingly “Mumble-less” Marty? Not surprisingly, his election in a post-Menino Boston has stirred the interest of the city, the state of Massachusetts and the whole of New England. He’s a brand new figure standing amid a large political stage–naturally, everybody wants to know what he’s all about (as well as a piece of the action for themselves).
In a telling profile of Walsh’s adviser Joyce Lineham, Boston Magazine’s Jon Garelick painted an intricate portrait of the mayor-elect via his right-hand-woman and the various items his campaign brought to the fore. One of these was an emphasis on the arts scene and the diverse community associated with it–a sizable voting bloc that Linehan brought to Walsh’s attention early on.
As it’s only the first month of Walsh’s term, any attempt to contemplate or predict the new mayor’s impact or character is just that–an attempt. Even so, new things generally accompany a positive sense of growth or renewal, so maybe Walsh will do good on his promises and serve the Hub with all the bells and whistles the city’s come to expect. He’s vowed to introduce a “new era of transparency” in local business growth, and so far his combined playful demeanor and serious intent hasn’t revealed any flaws in his plans.
Whatever the case, we’ll know more about Walsh’s tenure as mayor with time. I’m just happy that he can coherently speak his mind (as best as any native Bostonian can) without mumbling a line or two a la his predecessor. Maybe when the Red Sox try for the 2014 World Series, Walsh won’t mistakenly call it the World Cup.