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Would-be presidential candidates take a pass on Super Bowl tweets

Stanley C. Rosenberg, Michael Rodrigues, and Bruce Tarr made their pitch for “Commonwealth Conversations” in the video.Youtube/youtube

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida loves football. He played wide receiver and defensive back in college one year before an injury sidelined him. He married a Miami Dolphins cheerleader. He can name players you have never heard before.

During last year’s Super Bowl, Rubio was probably the most prolific politician on Twitter, sending some 35 tweets as the Seattle Seahawks won. So this year, with a record audience, and a one of the best cliffhanger ending in Super Bowl history Rubio, a potential Republican presidential candidate, must have had a lot to say, right?

Nope. All Rubio sent was one tweet asking his followers for Super Bowl predictions.


Rubio wasn’t the only potential presidential candidate to keep silent during the New England Patriots’ victory Sunday. The official Twitter accounts of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Maryland physician Ben Carson were silent about the big game. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey remarked that he was watching the game while traveling in England. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, now freed from the constraints of potentially running nationwide, didn’t even cheer on the hometown team publicly.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Rodham Clinton, also took a pass this year on Super Bowl tweeting, after she sent off one last year saying “It’s so much more fun to watch FOX when it’s someone else being blitzed & sacked!”

With their silence no one in 2016 will have to explain themselves in New Hampshire while running for president. But as for the future, New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker better get his mea culpa ready to Patriots Nation.

Asked during the game on Twitter why folks from New Jersey were unwilling to give the Pats their due, Booker responded, “Because we have a problem with anyone Boston folks root for.”



James Pindell

A close call for mayor, city council

Boston city councilors recessed their meeting Wednesday to gather outside on a City Hall balcony to watch the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade, and Council president Bill Linehan extended an invite to Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

“U r welcome to join us,” Linehan texted the mayor.

Walsh texted back: “I will be over.”

That put Walsh and most of the City Council on a balcony two stories above a powder-keg of professional fireworks. The explosives had been set up against City Hall for an added flair when duck boats arrived.

“Remember when you hear the whistle,” Linehan told his fellow elected officials, “we’ve got to go inside, OK?”

There was no whistle, but a rocket exploded and shot past the balcony. Walsh and city councilors stepped back from the edge of the balcony and pressed against the building.

The fireworks barrage lasted 10 seconds, sending more rockets whizzing past the balcony.

A Globe reporter was standing next to the mayor and could not help suggesting that the rockets had aimed at the press.

“You missed me,” the reporter told the mayor.

Walsh laughed. “I tried,” he said. — ANDREW RYAN Andrew Ryan

VIPs for Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren finally has a fan club as famous as her.

A crop of celebrities has launched Artists for Warren, an offshoot of the Ready for Warren campaign backed by liberal groups MoveOn.org and Democracy for Action that are pushing Warren to run for president. More than 90 writers, actors, and producers signed onto a letter Tuesday praising her as someone “who stands up for the people” and encouraging a bid. They include the likes of Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Ed Norton, and Steve Earle.


Ruffalo, in a homemade iPhone video shown at Warren house parties across the country last weekend, smiled sweetly into the camera and implored supporters to join him. Just imagine the campaign commercials. — JESSICA MEYERS

Jessica Meyers

Hughes’s challengers vanish

What a difference an election makes. For months, Republican state committee members had vowed they would oust their embattled chairwoman Kirsten Hughes, due to the mishaps of the 2014 election year. Hughes had lost Republicans’ confidence after presiding over a party convention that resulted in a candidate suing over allegations of cheating and ballot fraud; that legal standoff already cost the party $150,000 in legal fees. But in recent weeks, Republicans decided not only to reelect her, but also to pay her $90,000 a year.

After Charlie Baker won the race for governor, he stood by Hughes, who had long worked hand-in-hand with his top fund-raiser, John Cook. The result? The would-be challengers for the chairmanship backed down, not even bothering to run against Hughes, who easily won reelection at the GOP state committee’s Jan. 29 meeting. (As one state committee member put it, “What Charlie wants, Charlie gets.”)

Hughes also gets to crow about GOP gains under her leadership. Though they’re still far outnumbered on Beacon Hill, Republicans picked up two seats in the Senate and six in the House, and they reclaimed three House seats vacated by Republican incumbents. Hughes said in a statement that she looks forward to helping to bring balance and fiscal responsibility to Beacon Hill. — STEPHANIE EBBERT


Stephanie Ebbert

Informative — and cute, too

“I don’t often use the word ‘adorable’ to describe #mapoli,” tweeted state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, a Jamaica Plain Democrat, using the hashtag short for “Massachusetts politics,” “but watch this.”

The senator linked to a video of three white guys in suits, making an awkward — OK, awkward bordering on adorable — pitch for “Commonwealth Conversations,” a series of eight regional events organized by the state Senate that is “bringing Beacon Hill to you.”

One of the white guys is new Senate president Stanley C. Rosenberg, who has pledged to bring more openness to a building known for its opacity.

He said the conversations will give people a chance to sound off on what concerns them, and to help shape the legislative agenda.

The first event — really, a pair of forums and a series of visits to local businesses and nonprofit programs — was held Wednesday in Western Massachusetts. The next is scheduled for Monday in the southeastern portion of the state. The full schedule, which runs through March 11, is at malegislature.gov/cc.

The video is there, too: Rosenberg, sitting with minority leader Bruce Tarr, and state Senator Michael Rodrigues, a Westport Democrat who organized the program. They’re enthusiastic. But they do fumble a couple of lines. The grins look a little forced. And the music? Well, truth be told, it’s a little twangy.

“I didn’t play the banjo,” Rosenberg told reporters. — DAVID SCHARFENBERG


David Scharfenberg

In N.H., poetry is politics

Last summer, Donald Hall, the former US poet laureate who lives in Wilmot, N.H., criticized Senate candidate Scott Brown in verse. Now the state poet laureate, Alice Fogel, is hoping to derail efforts to declare an official state poem, on the grounds that the chosen poem, “My Homeland Sea,” is, well, not good enough.

“My feeling is that this poem is inappropriate for a number of reasons,” Fogel wrote in an e-mail addressed to “NH poets and readers.”

“One is that, in a state where Jews (such as myself), Muslims, Buddhists, and people of other faiths, as well as agnostics and atheists, live, a poem that speaks of ‘Christ our Lord’ is not a good choice. Even our governor speaks passionately of inclusion. Other reasons not to choose this particular poem include the fact that it simply is an amateur work, and we live in a state that has fostered, and continues to foster, serious, skilled poets.”

Here’s the case for “My Homeland Sea”: It was written in 1941 — the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor — by a homesick young man (originally from Massachusetts) serving in the South Pacific. In 2001, the poet, Richard Hartnett, got permission to have a bronze plaque with the poem attached to a boulder overlooking the ocean in North Hampton, N.H., in honor of his fellow veterans. But after the plaque was vandalized, Hartnett’s widow had it removed.

Fogel is hoping the state will reject Hartnett’s poem and, instead, perhaps hold a contest to choose a different work.

For the legislators who will ultimately be called on to weigh arguments both patriotic and poetic, the vote could be tricky. — FELICE BELMAN

Felice Belman