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Campaign notes: What's next?

MeninoThe Globe declares Menino A leader in touch, in gear. The Herald looks ahead to 2013 and wonders if Menino will really stick around that long.

John Carroll predicts Menino will regret running for that fifth term. David Bernstein hopes Menino uses some of his political capital to deal with "some very difficult things that need doing." Scot Lehigh starts with the nagging. Peter Gelzinis talks to some voters, provides a sort of O. Henry ending.

Jay Fitzgerald says one good thing about the results is that the firefighters union is pissed.

Flaherty supporters apparently didn't realize Flaherty had lost until Menino showed up on TV before Flaherty made a concession speech.

Chuck Turner exults in saying to hell with the media.

Mike Ball regrets Andrew Kenneally didn't make the cut, hopes he runs again:

... Too much of the council does constituent services well but are vague and not driven in the big issues. Thus after each year, too little big change occurs or is even proposed. They just don't know where to go, how to get there or whom to buddy up with on the trip. We need some Andrew Kenneally types to lead the sluggish.

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"Official Campaign Outsider Prediction®: Tom Menino will regret ever running for a fifth term."

I've been on record for months saying this - if someone else took the reins they would have had 18-24 months to lay the blame for the hard times to come on Menino and the economy while Menino would have had forever to just lay the blame on his successor. Now Menino has to be accountable for:

a) Either laying people off or begging for pay freezes due to collective bargaining agreements totally of his making (and no raises after that for quite a while which will make the unions very unhappy)
b) Finding more things to tax to pay for the bills we've racked up (tax-exempts should run for cover or get ready to pony up)
c) Not implementing the reforms brought up by the FinCom that were an early part of the campaign
d) More year over year double-digit property tax increases
e) Someone might finally stand up and shed some light on the retirement benefits we owe - apparently a multi-billion dollar and growing liability

Two things are for sure -

a) it won't be pretty
b) Tom "The State Cut My Aid" Menino won't take the blame

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Kenneally will be back, he was the most experienced and qualified candidate in the field. City-council work is mainly about constituent service and, as Peter Gelzinis pointed out, Kenneally has more experience in this area than even Connolly.

I also think he suffered from the mayor's race, a lot of his would-be volunteers were devoting their time to the Flaherty race, while Pressely and Arroyo's volunteers were mainly new Boston "progressives" who thought they were campaigning for "new and progressive ideas" though their policies are nothing but empty platitudes and political cliches.

Even as a staunch Obama supporter, I worry what this new obsession with "change" and "hope" will do for local government. Nationally I think Obama's message was poignant and pertinent, but locally, change to the system does not come by voting in someone who has NO knowledge of Boston and NO real ideas.

I'll end with one of my favorite Ayanna campaign quotes:

Reporter: "Ms. Pressley, what is your opinion on the Harvard expansion into Allston-Brighton"

Ayanna: "Where is Allston again?"

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