Tom Menino bowed out as Boston’s mayor with his signature common touch and with uncommon grace. His departure was truly one of his finest moments.
And it was among his best decisions. He understood what some of his supporters didn’t understand — that the decision never really hinged on being able to win another election. His declaration Thursday — “I can run, I can win” — probably was true. But governing was another matter.
Menino leaves a huge legacy, and it goes way beyond his record-setting length of tenure. He joins James Michael Curley and Kevin White as the architects of Boston as we know it. He leaves a city transformed, much for the better.
Aside from proclaiming the end of an era, the most important statement Menino made last week was that he has no intention of attempting to pick a successor. Call me naive, but I believe he meant it, and I think it was another good decision, one he should stick to.
This city is ripe for change, and Menino knows it. The worst thing he could do would be to cave in to the desire of some supporters to push for a successor who promises to continue his rule.
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