Polls may show dissatisfaction with the state of the city, but you wouldn't know it from the results - Menino beat Hennigan 2-1 - overwhelming not only the hapless city councilor but people who either voted for her or cast blanks as a protest against the nascent Imperial Mayor.
On the city council, the big news is the election of Sam Yoon to an at-large seat. First Asian-American to hold such a seat. Felix Arroyo came in second to vote machine Michael Flaherty. For me, the big surprise was Steve Murphy's re-election. After his shellacking in the sheriff's race last year, he seemed to be on his way out. Shows you what I know - and how important the union vote still is in this town. At the district level, South Boston's Jimmy Kelly easily swamped the South End's Susan Passoni, as West Roxbury's John Tobin did to Jamaica Plain's Gibran Rivera (hmm, imagine if, somehow, JP and the South End were joined in a single district).
So what's it all mean?
Chris says we might now have a city council split between more progressive at-large members and more conservative district councilors (with the possible exceptions of Yancey and Turner, although I'd argue the latter is more of a demogogue than a true progressive). Particularly interesting is the last-place finish of Ed Flynn, Ray's kid, who made "family values" (i.e. opposition to gay marriage and abortion) a centerpiece of his campaign.
But Chris adds the progressives need to be careful to work fulltime on issues they can really do something about (i.e., Boston stuff) rather than devoting their energy to resolutions in support of the Dixie Chicks.
Arroyo supporters, if you believe the papers, wanted their man to finish first to help bolster the nascent movement to make him mayor in 2009. That he finished second to Flaherty (who would also like to be mayor) doesn't rule out an Arroyo run, though. A lot can happen in four years (like, say, the incumbent decides to try for a Daleyesque fifth term) - and the dynamics of a two-person race are a lot different than those of an eight-person/four-seat council race.
More important than the horse-race aspects, though, is the question of what Boston will be like in four years. Will Menino assume he now has invulnerable super powers and so can safely ignore all questions about his actions and those of his agencies, such as the BRA and the School Committee? Even before the election he seemed to think he could. What does that mean for the city and its residents?
But enough blabbering from me. What do you think?