The highlight of Mayor Menino’s State of the City speech wasn’t its admirable theme of enhancing human potential. It wasn’t in the genuinely impressive progress in city development, with 2,000 units of housing now under construction. And it wasn’t in Menino’s trademark medium-sized initiatives, like his networking plan for women-owned businesses.
Rather, the highlight was Menino himself. In his proud, steady walk to the podium, with only the help of a cane, Menino sent a strong signal that he is back of the job after nearly six weeks in the hospital for a range of ailments, followed by another month of rehab. The mutual affection between Menino and the city was visible in his interaction with the crowd, which whooped and applauded at even corny lines like a joke about Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women.” For his part, Menino offered his sincere thanks to all who helped him and stood by him during his rehabilitation. And he showed his graciousness in other ways, too, such as with a comradely tribute to retiring State Senator Jack Hart.