DiCara on Boston Mayoral

In a great 15 minutes, Larry DiCara provided keen insights and analysis about the Boston mayoral preliminary. He is superbly qualified both with BLS, Harvard, Suffolk Law and Kennedy School degrees, but more so from being the youngest City Councilor ever at 22 for a decade and running for mayor in 1983. That year also had a scrum, of nine candidates.

Timing note: DiCara is on for the first 15 mnutes. Our service had apparently defaulted again to its 15 minute show and I did not notice and reset that. So, our guest got cut off. Fortunately, he covered a lot. Ryan and I went on for another 10 minutes before shutting down. We’re hoping he’ll agree to return for a full show, starting with his new book, Turmoil and Transition in Boston: A Political Memoir from the Busing Era.

Listen in as he talks trends, anomalies and specifics from the current race. He is not only uniquely qualified from his experiences, he also knows nearly all the dozen candidates well. He wouldn’t endorse or tell anyone how to vote. Otherwise, yet he did not shy away from preliminary vote predictions. To start, he figures this pent-up-demand election will see 125,000 or more voting. He was quick to laugh though and drew on his memory that there had been a hurricane on a September 24, noting that weather can be a factor here.

However, if we see the turnout he predicts, he notes that quite a few candidates are within the polling margin of error. He thinks that six, seven or even eight of the dozen could get 10,000 or more votes and that 20,000 votes could well determine second place for the final in November.

He discussed the memorable ads he’s seen. He figures they won’t necessarily be the deciding factor but will still be important. In particular, he cited Rob Consalvo and Dan Conley’s ads so far. He thinks we’ll see a lot more before election day.

We discussed the big and small surprises, such as who got money, who got union support, and who didn’t. DiCara thinks in a race this tight, the candidates who say shoe leather will be a huge deciding factor are likely right. This election “will be won on street corners, as they usually are.”

DiCara also noted several differences from when he ran for Mayor. For a big one, outgoing Mayor Kevin White was unpopular, in contrast to today’s Tom Menino. This time, people won’t be voting against anyone, against City Hall.

Finally, we did get to talk a bit about how odd it is in a minority majority city that the current top-polling candidates are the old Boston style Irish American men.

~Mike

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