Blogster's Miscellany: a Bromance and Other Jarring Realities of Political Life

Friday, April 28, 2017

ONE WAY IN WHICH KRAFT’S ARE LIKE BELICHICK’S: The Kraft-Trump bromance is a jarring reality of political life today in Massachusetts.  Why does Bob love Donald is right up there with why does Massachusetts still have a Governor’s Council?  Yes, I know, we all have friends and relationships that are improbable, if not a little weird.  There is, for example, the guy I met 51 years ago in Revere while walking home in a thunderstorm late one summer afternoon.  Shirtless, he was using the torrent from a broken downspout on a three-family house to take a shower, shampoo and all.  I just had to strike up a conversation. Trying hard lately not to be so hard on Kraft, I seized upon the transcript of the proceedings on the south lawn of the White House on Wednesday, April 19, the day the President greeted the Super Bowl champions. It caused me to admire Kraft for having the stones to speak glowingly, and obviously genuinely, about a controversy-spewing egomaniac like Trump.   Kraft is not oblivious to Trump being detested by a large segment of the Massachusetts population.  He knows that he risks turning off at least some of the people who buy tickets to his football and soccer games and lots of other stuff, too, at that temple of consumerism, Patriot Place, not to mention a sizable portion of his own team, every time a picture pops up of him with the president at Mar-a-Lago, yet Kraft refuses to distance himself from his old friend.  (One has to wonder, if Myra Kraft were alive, would he be so public about all this.)  On the south lawn, Kraft said, “This year’s championship was achieved after falling behind by 25 points – a deficit so great that in the 97-year history of the NFL – over 25,000 games – that deficit has only been overcome seven times.  In that same year, a very good friend of mine for over 25 years, a man who is as mentally tough and as hardworking as anybody I know, launched a campaign for the presidency against 16 career politicians, facing odds almost as long as we faced in the fourth quarter.  He persevered to become the 45th President of the United States.  It’s a distinct honor for us to celebrate what was unequivocally our sweetest championship with a very good friend and somebody whose mental toughness and strength I greatly admire.”  Could this Massachusetts institution have said it any louder: “All you Elizabeth Warrens of the world, kiss this!”

BUT MAYBE KRAFT’S NOT THAT COURAGEOUS:  File this under, We're Not as Blue as We Think We Are...There were 50 communities in central Massachusetts where Trump beat Hillary Clinton.  In those towns, Trump today is viewed by more voters unfavorably than favorably, although his favorability rating in those towns, which stands at 42 percent, is still significantly higher than it is in most of America.  The Trumpster’s favorability has dipped into the mid-thirties of late nationwide, the lowest of any modern president at this early point in their presidencies.  The Massachusetts figures come from a poll conducted in early April for WBUR by the impeccable MassINC Polling Group.
MOVED PORTRAIT MOVES HER TO CROCODILE TEARS: Democrat Marilyn Petitto Devaney of Watertown, a perfect fit for the mold of the Massachusetts Governor’s Council, that overly-ripe-for-replacement/judge-nominee-vetting relic of colonial era government, is no fan of Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, the regularly presiding officer at council meetings.  During the council’s April 12 session, Devaney, apropos of no piece of pending council business, questioned why the portrait of the late Governor Paul Cellucci was taken from a wall in the  public foyer of the governor’s office on the third floor of the State House and hung in Polito’s office.   Cellucci, like Polito, was a Republican from the far western suburbs of Boston who climbed from the House of Representatives to the lieutenant governor’s office. “I say this respectfully,” said Devaney that day, immediately signaling the opposite. “We all know your relationship with our late so-beloved Governor Cellucci, and I’m asking you on behalf of hundreds of people who have been talking about this in the last couple of years to return his portrait in the vaunted place with all of the other recent governors.  People come in (to the governor’s office) and think, ‘Where’s Governor Cellucci?’ ”  Polito dismissed the distress of those supposedly pining for a peek at Paul’s pic.  Said she, “Anyone that would like to see Governor Cellucci’s portrait can go and see it in my office.”

THIS ‘ICON’ WILL NOT GO INVISIBLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT: I don’t know about you but I’m definitely not breathing a sigh of relief because the famous, humongous Citgo sign in Boston’s Kenmore Square has been saved.  Recall that, back in February, there was talk of the sign going dark and being demolished because the new owners of the building on which it stands were raising the rent on that valuable rooftop space.  The mayor and other officials stepped in to drive an agreement between the parties, which will apparently keep this inescapable monster doing its stationary electric dance every night for the foreseeable future.  Sad to say, I’m old enough to remember when Kenmore Square was old and run-down and the Citgo sign was new and snazzy.  How generations of Boston liberals have come to embrace this massive, energy-gulping advertisement for big petro as a priceless piece of urban art and a special example of our capital city's individuality is something I've never understood, much less bought into, even when I was pretending to be an intellectual.  It’s not the Bunker Hill Monument.  It's a damn billboard.






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