WGBH News reporter Adam Reilly and contributing editor Peter Kadzis on the third and final debate between Boston mayoral candidates John Connolly and Marty Walsh.
KADZIS: Last night's final Boston mayoral debate between John Connolly and Marty Walsh left me with three over-arching impressions:
1) Walsh put in his strongest performance yet, but Connolly still won because of a greater command of details, especially the punch lists he provided for what he's looking for in a Police Commissioner and a School Superintendent.
2) At this point, I doubt the debate will change many voter's minds, but it will influence journalists and political commentators, which might have impact.
3) It's clear that both candidates see the key to winning this election as two-fold, holding on to their respective bases while carrying communities that compromise the city's majority-minority neighborhoods -- particularly those of African Americans. Still, my eyebrows popped when Connolly and Walsh agreed that the police department was tinged with racism. I agree there are problems, but I thought the allegation of racism went too far. Perhaps I'm oversensitive. I cut my teeth as a young reporter during the busing years and saw real, unvarnished, overt racism in action. God knows, both the police and fire departments have serious diversity issues (as do the trade unions), but they are too complex to be boiled down to a single word.
On Twitter this afternoon, my WGBH colleague (and former Boston Phoenix compadre) David Bernstein argues that mayoral candidate John Connolly's previous work as a lawyer doesn't deserve the front-page treatment it got in today's Globe. As David puts it: "[S]omebody tell me what the issue is with Connolly's legal work. Anybody. Speak now or forever etc..."
The issue, I think, is that sometimes Connolly acts like he was never a lawyer at all.