Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Rate of Return

Tom Menino was sworn into his fourth term as Boston mayor yesterday. He won reelection in November with 67% of the vote, despite a ten-year high in the homicide rate and an embarrassing showdown with the police union during last year's Democratic Convention. His opponent, Maura Hennigan, is now unemployed after 24 years on the City Council.

Hennigan ran the sort of campaign I'd have been proud to help run aground. She pitched ideas, four-seam fastballs in a sport known for changeups and sliders. If Menino's fourth term improves his average, it's only because Hennigan cornered him from coronation into a campaign. Chalk one up for opposition politics.

When Phileas Fogg ran out of coal in the mid-Atlantic with only 24 hours to reach London, he tore apart his ship and burned the decks and cabins to keep the furnaces at full steam. Hennigan's challenge cost her $725,000 from her own pocket. It's a steep loss that I can't imagine, but she knew the odds and she kept sailing at full bore. "I don't regret it at all," she says. I believe that. I wish I'd made the trip with her.


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