We learned a couple of things at Thursdayâ€™s rollicking FOX25/Herald debate, the last televised face-off before the Sept. 22 preliminary: Michael Flaherty doesnâ€™t know how much a ride on the MBTA costs. Mayor Thomas Menino thinks that Boston streets are based on ancient cow paths. Kevin McCrea has an expansive view of what corruption is and is all about visiting schools one day a week if he becomes mayor. And Sam Yoon is nothing if not consistently on message in arguing the mayor has too tight a grip on City Hall.
â€œYouâ€™ve been sitting in that chair for 16 years,â€ Yoon said to Menino, referring to the mayorâ€™s campaign ad that shows Menino's desk and chair in various neighborhoods across the city. â€œItâ€™s almost like youâ€™ve become the chair, and when you become the chair, itâ€™s like the system is you.â€
(Okay, but weâ€™re still waiting for a parody of that ad. Come on, guys. Itâ€™s almost too easy.)
Still, everybody (well, okay, everybody whoâ€™s been following this race since it unofficially started) was looking for that hit that you canâ€™t recover from. A gasket blown. A chair (and desk?) thrown.
But, suffice it to say, the Big Hit from anybody to anybody didnâ€™t happen. So we head into preliminary without any televised takedown of Menino (or any of the other candidates) and wondering whether he gets above or below 50 percent, as David Bernstein notes in this weekâ€™s Boston Phoenix. Lloyd Bentsens are in short supply.
Thereâ€™s still hope for some game-changers: All four candidates will be attending the Ward 4 and Ward 5 Democratic Committeesâ€™ mayoral forum, set to be held at the Boston Architectural College at 320 Newbury Street. Candidates: Bring your best trackers and handheld devices.
Worth noting: After the debate, Flaherty tried a little (funny) damage control over the gotcha question afterwards on Twitter. â€œNot an avid T rider, put $20, wanted $5 card,â€ he wrote. â€œBig advocate of T, not a big fan of the 15 Sacagawea coins.â€
To be fair, it is a little tough to say what the price of an MBTA ride is off the top of your head. (Weâ€™ve got a monthly pass.)
The two top people who would immediately know are probably Jim Aloisi and Dan Grabauskas. And look at where they both are now.