Reporter's Notebook: For Tom and Hillary, dinner and some chat

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jun. 27, 2013

Mayor Thomas Menino and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down for a quiet dinner in the South End last Wednesday night, the mayor reported. Their dinner prompted some light chatter on Facebook and Twitter after they, along with Clinton’s security team, were spotted at Hamersley’s Bistro on Tremont Street.

“Both of us were talking about our transitions,” Menino told the Reporter, referring to his decision in March not to run for a sixth term and her departure from the State Department in February.

The mayor, who says he hasn’t yet decided on what’s next for him, quipped that he asked her for some pointers on the transition process. Asked if they discussed Clinton running for president in 2016, Menino said that Clinton told him she was “taking the summer” and relaxing.

Clinton has also served as US senator from New York. The bio on her recently launched Twitter account provides an overview: “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD...”

Menino is a longtime friend of the Clintons, having backed former President Bill Clinton during his time in the White House and supporting Hillary’s run for president in 2008. He told the Reporter he ordered the roast chicken, a well-known specialty of the popular South End restaurant. It was a “relaxing night,” he said.

Dinner with a former First Lady wasn’t the only big item on the mayor’s itinerary. On Saturday, he joined Vice President Joe Biden at the Ironworkers’ Hall in South Boston to rally for US Senate candidate Ed Markey, who in the end bested Cohasset Republican Gabriel Gomez in a low-turnout election on Tuesday.
With polls predicting a wide margin of victory for Markey, the elected officials, a group that included Markey and his former primary rival, Rep. Stephen Lynch, gathered to urge supporters to show up at their polling places.

“Please go out and knock on that extra door,” Biden said, according to the pool report. “Don’t put yourself in the position, at 10 o’clock next Tuesday night, of saying ‘God, if I had just done that extra block.”
Before heading off to another rally in Dartmouth, Biden’s motorcade swung over to Sullivan’s on Castle Island. The Veep ordered a hot dog with mustard and relish, and a Pepsi, according to the pool report. He also ran into young Erin Leahy. According to her father, Tom, Biden advised her, “Remember, no serious boyfriend ‘til you’re 30.”

New manager for Walczak campaign
Don Walsh, who has served on the board of the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, is stepping in as the new campaign manager for Bill Walczak’s run for mayor. He will replace Reuben Kantor, who said last Wednesday that he was stepping down. Kantor, a Jamaica Plain resident who has worked on campaigns for Gov. Deval Patrick and City Councillor At-Large Ayanna Pressley, cited a hefty schedule that took its toll when he took the job in April. He said that spending a year at the Harvard Kennedy School and juggling final exams and running a campaign took a “tremendous toll.” He added that Walczak, the co-founder of the Codman Square Health Center and a Savin Hill resident, still has his vote in the coming election, “and my admiration.”

Former Patrick campaign aide is Ross communications director
A former campaign aide to Los Angeles Mayor-Elect Eric Garcetti and Gov. Deval Patrick is signing on with City Councillor Michael Ross’s mayoral campaign. Josh Gee, who served as new media director for Patrick’s 2010 reelection campaign, has returned to Boston after working as digital director for Garcetti, and taken the job of communications director for Ross.

“He'll be a great mayor that connects all parts of the city to move Boston forward,” Gee said of Ross in an e-mail on Tuesday. “Personally, I think he'd do the more than any of the other candidates to drive government innovation and transparency – the things I care most about. I'm also really excited to help him run a digital first campaign that helps connect the residents of Boston to have a discussion about the future of our city.”

Ross is the councillor for District 8, which includes Back Bay and Beacon Hill, Fenway and Kenmore, Mission Hill, the West End, and two precincts in Allston. He is giving up his district seat to run for mayor.
Last month, Garcetti, a councilman, battled Wendy Greuel, the city controller, in the LA mayor’s race and won with 56 percent of the vote.

Gee has also worked for Alipes, a digital strategy firm, the New York public relations company Edelman, and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. He is a graduate of Lexington High School and Boston University.

Endorsement Corner: Carpenters back Walsh for mayor
The New England Council of Carpenters on Friday announced their backing of state Rep. Marty Walsh in his bid for mayor. Walsh, who has also served as a top union official in Boston, appeared at their Dorchester Avenue headquarters as the union’s digital billboard that overlooks I-93 showed his face.
“This means so much to me,” Walsh said. “And one of the reasons this means so much to me is…the carpenters union, when they endorse somebody, they win.” In his remarks to a crowd of a few dozen people, Walsh said a reporter had called his campaign to ask what he had promised the carpenters union.

“I promised to make sure that we’re going to do something about the violence in the streets of Dorchester and the other parts of our city,” he said. “I promised that we’re going to do something about the educational system in the city of Boston as a partnership, with the carpenters union, where the carpenters unions can come into high schools and help teach kids how to be carpenters…I promised about moving our economy forward. I promised about all the things I’m talking in this campaign about and the things I’m going to continue talking about in this campaign. That’s what I promised the carpenters union. You know why? Because the carpenters union is part of Boston.”

Walsh added that he had recently been interviewed by a community newspaper, which had asked what he would do differently from Menino. Walsh said their styles are separate. “I want to be able to build upon what Mayor Menino has done in some places,” he said. “And in other places I want to go and far exceed what Mayor Menino’s done.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Check out updates to Boston’s political scene at The Lit Drop, located at dotnews.com/litdrop. Email us at newseditor@dotnews.com and follow us on Twitter: @LitDrop and @gintautasd.