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The Boston Globe

Opinion

thomas gagen

How Menino played the inside game to become mayor

Thomas Menino did not become the mayor of Boston by accident, as many people believe. In 1992, he grabbed the one sure opportunity he had to advance beyond the anonymity of being a Boston city councilor, employing the same skills that he is famous for today — his strong work ethic, inside knowledge of politics, ability to create coalitions of unlikely partners, and his knack for connecting with individual voters.

In the summer of 1992, Menino was stuck in a career rut. After 8½ years on the council, he was close to the 10-year deadline he had given himself to gain higher office, but he couldn’t find one for which he had a reasonable hope of winning.

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