The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Kerry plays three card monte with Tommy Nee

For a man who aspires to the mantle of Most Powerful Man in the World, influencing the destiny of billions, to dicker with the leader of three jumbo-jet-fuls of bolshie Boston cops [1] would, of itself, show an unflattering descent into street-corner politics à la Charles Murphy.

According to Brian McGrory in the Globe (June 29),
Kerry aides were hoping that a deal in principle had been struck: Kerry's withdrawal from yesterday's speech in exchange for a police promise not to picket the convention.

It would be sordid enough for Kerry to welsh on an engagement to speak to 200 elected representatives as the price for Nee keeping his goons away from Convention delegates and the frames of news cameras.

However, it seems that Nee got the better of the presumptive candidate. According to Jim Barry, an official of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, at least:
Police won't picket the FleetCenter the night of Kerry's acceptance speech or any other night, Barry said, largely because there's no good venue. But they will picket delegate hotels through the week and urge people to boycott Menino's welcoming speech. They'll picket at every kickoff party that Menino attends, fortified with officers from New York, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. They're planning a rally on City Hall Plaza on convention Monday.

(The cops found no difficulty finding good spots to picket when their targets were construction workers contracted to fit the FleetCenter out for the Convention...)

It is just possible, surely, that the odd news crew might station themselves outside one of those delegate hotels in the hope of some rough stuff. And Menino might be a little testy with picketers, in the circumstances.

Meanwhile, back with the Convention, it's a yawnfest. And those cable news shows have acres of airtime to fill [2]. Which footage do you show -
  1. some loyal party hack celebrating 60 years of loyal service with a trip down memory lane; or

  2. a riot?

(Added to this will be the general chaos that the Convention is liable to inflict on the centre of the city.)

So far as I can tell, the Kerry grovel looks a pretty poor deal all round [3].

Meanwhile Mitt Romney, filling Kerry's shoes at the mayor's conference, supplies a line which may well come in handy in the campaign:
A mayor, a governor, and a president have a responsibility for making tough decisions and balancing budgets; a senator doesn't.

A great deal of the material that misleadingly feeds the flip flop nonsense arises from Kerry's activity in the Senate - procedural votes, technical measures. But his lack of executive experience is a genuine point against him; and, with the Boston cops fiasco, Kerry has just given a neat illustration of his indecisiveness and lack of accountability.

  1. Earlier pieces on June 28 and June 29.

  2. Though at least one network might not even cover the first couple of days.

  3. Joan Vennochi of the Globe goes round the houses - reaching back for Calvin Coolidge (another Bay State prez, of course) who cracked police heads back in 1919 - before ending
    Is it the correct political move? We shall see.
    Now that's what I call journalism!

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