Back in the late 20th century, when we last had an open mayor’s race in Boston, I spent election night covering Jim Brett, the Dorchester state rep who ended up losing to Tom Menino.
His gathering was at the Copley Plaza Hotel, and at one point, I found myself at the hotel’s bank of pay phones — yes, it was that long ago — calling my editor about the story I’d filed on Brett’s gracious and classy concession speech.
When I finished my call, I discovered that someone had sidled up and left a note for me. The note-writer vehemently disagreed with the Globe’s endorsement of Menino — and expressed that thought in venomous terms. I was stunned that someone was so bilious and bitter that he had taken the time to figure out which reporter was from the Globe and then to scrawl out some vitriol and wait for a moment when he could drop it unseen.
These days, the Internet’s easy anonymity has made conveying those kinds of sentiments much easier. Even so, I still find it remarkable how completely some people lose perspective during political campaigns.
In this mayor’s race, John Connolly, a son of Roslindale, has been caricatured as a to-the-manor born elitist who, in the words of one labor-sponsored flyer, “isn’t one of us” and “does not understand working-class people.” That’s silliness on stilts, a sad attempt to kindle class resentments.
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