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New York paper declares Michelle Wu swaggerfree

Wu cutting a ribbon

Who ya gonna believe? The Times or your lying eyes?

The New York Times says the Democratic Party has a choice: Swagger or Michelle Wu.

Unlike the "nightlife" mayor, Michelle Wu, the mayor of Boston, tends to avoid ribbon cuttings and other public appearances in order to focus on projects and be with her family.

The article actually compares Wu favorably to New York's "nightlife" mayor, Eric Adams, and says less macho swagger BS might not be such a bad thing.

But, of course, it then adds a caveat, saying some of Wu's success might be due to the fact we're really just a cute little city less dependent on tourism than the mighty Apple and that our reliance on property taxes helped us weather the pandemic. But, really, Timesfolks might want to look at the mayor's Flickr feed (from which the photo comes) if they think she is just leading the quiet life at home.

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Comments

I'm 63, personally and philosophically I reject the notion of heroes, our worshiping them causes far more problems than it solves. Having said that I am so excited about Mayor Wu, what she represents, and how popular that is here. She strikes me as insightful, empathetic, and secure - rare qualities in many conventional leaders.

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believe that’s the *failing* New York Times.

/s

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Call me old fashioned, but I'm glad that our mayor isn't an absolute freak who lives out of state and prefers to be paid in Bitcoin.

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She seems to do a lot with the public and appears at a lot of events. But it’s also very reasonable to want to spend time with your family, no matter your job.

But, this article is also straight up lying / misrepresenting Wu’s view of the shut down.

As it is in New York, the city’s transit system falls under the auspices of a state authority, but Ms. Wu has wielded her influence to make big changes, pushing for a monthlong shut down of the Orange line so that major repairs could be made to a portion of the city’s train system after a fire in July caused a passenger to jump out of a train car, off a bridge and into the Mystic River.

At no point was Wu pushing for the shutdown, and that one incident was certainly not the only reason the shutdown occurred.

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I got rid of my subscription years ago and switched to the Washington Post. Too many articles on a wide variety of topics with this level of inaccuracy. Only gotten worse since they got rid of the Public Editor.

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Times for the Post. Just OOF

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Yes, sometimes Wu likes to act like it is so, but that's a different thing.

As for ribbon cuttings, she cut one at the library around the corner from her house. I'm still waiting for her to cut the ribbon on the community center a block further away.

As for "late night," Menino cut ribbons (and put his name) everywhere, but I believe he was in bed by 9 every night.

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But she didn't lead the charge. She gave an interview on NPR about a week before the T's announcement, in which she suggested such a shutdown might be the best approach. So the claim in the article isn't 100% wrong, but it is certainly a bit misleading.

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If they want the tourists and to push money around and leave us with the boring stuff like cutting-edge science and engineering and educating their children, I for one accept that deal.

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that when she solicited ideas on Twitter for where to take her husband for their tenth wedding anniversary, she heeded my advice and thanked me for it the next day.

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Can I ask for your advice for dinner :)

I had actually though about that place for my wife's birthday but did Salty Girl instead.

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while noting that: a) there's no accounting for taste, and b) a timely response might be dependent on available bandwidth, as food writing is my hobby, not my vocation. Ping me on the socials (currently on FB, LI, TW and IG) at @mcslimjb.

(And I like Saltie Girl, though I preferred the original Dartmouth Street space to its current home on Newbury.)

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by far.

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Thanks for the tip; been trying to find Todd Maul for a while. I used to enjoy CafeArtScience.

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Remember only 28% or registered voters showed up. I can’t imagine that will be the case next time around.

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Curious who you see as a candidate who's going to be able to convince the other 72% to actually turn out.

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Remember, Mayor Wu embarrassed her opponents in the primary and mayoral elections. Facts on not on your side.

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I said the same of Menino at this point in his tenure in the office. How did that turn out for me?

In a position like mayor, you have to be utterly inept to lose reelection.

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In a position like mayor, you have to be utterly inept to lose reelection.

True if male.

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I would say that in this day and age, the theory that incumbent mayors have to actively try to screw up to lose reelection as mayor in Massachusetts is valid regardless of gender. I may not have voted for Wu, but I know that unless she gets another job, she'll be mayor when her grade school kids are in college.

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There are historically a lot more male mayors than female mayors, in Boston and anywhere else in the Commonwealth. What's YOUR sample?

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"Got any facts to back that up? Anything?"

"No, it's *your* job to disprove my wild, unsubstantiated claim."

No. That's not how this works, if your goal is to convince people of your position. Fine if you're just aiming to be a useless, annoying troll, I'll admit.

Nevertheless, I'm open to convincing. C'mon: give us your best shot!

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I’m working on data, while you’re making an assumption.

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MAHTY DUB-YOU

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Hard to swagger as you wander around dazed in your waders.

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28% of registered voters is actually pretty typical for these races, and Wu got more actual votes than any other Mayoral candidate in the last 40 years. She totally walloped her opponent.

So who exactly is going to magically appear and get those other 70% of voters to suddenly show up?

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The times is worried that nyc was becoming another city that also sleeps, like um, Boston!

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/17/nyregion/new-york-city-closing-time.h...

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Oh dear, what will I do if I can’t bowl at 3am during my next nyc trip

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And drive up to Dorchester.

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I think the basic premise of the article makes sense but they really reached pretty hard to make the point. It can definitely be argued that Michelle Wu is more of a neighborhood mayor than her NYC counterpart. She makes time to connect with people at all levels and yes attempts to have a work life balance even as Mayor.

When she was a city councillor she showed up at the Dot Day parade then when she was pregnant she rode on the back of a Jeep and walked when she could then she marched with kid first kid and would lift him and carry him when he got tired. Some people might not see that as swagger but when I saw her carrying her kid for miles so she could do both I saw serious mom energy and commitment to the city she was representing.

I don't live in Boston and no longer work there but when I do see her in the news it is often much more low key than when I see her NYC counterpart in the news.

I think if they actually took time on the story they could have still made their point without generalizing as much as they did.

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Or as a long time editor of The Economist used to advise journalists; "simplify, then exaggerate”.

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She spends a lot less time at ribbon cuttings and photo ops than Menino and to lesser extent Walsh, who seemed to mostly focus on that and putting their names on stuff. When you have new ideas other than promoting yourself you don’t have as much time for photo ops.

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Mayor Wu is an effective, educated mayor. Mayor Adams is a dirty pig who aims to steal taxpayer money from children and funnel it to corrupt cops. I know who’d I’d rather have as my mayor.

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The fact that the New York Times favors Michelle Wu tells you all you need to know.

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So Adam, when did you start putting such stock in New York papers?

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The only reason I posted about this is because I thought it was kind of a stupid article, both the "swagger" part and the "Oh, isn't Boston just the cutest little city?!?" part. The Times should leave the former to the Onion and the latter to, well, the Onion.

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In Massachusetts and NY, municipal politicians from Boston and NYC have little success finding a way up electorally.

If Andrea Campbell wins, she's breaking a streak of failed attempts.

Kevin White, Ray Flynn, Ed Koch, DiBlasio, John Lindsay.

Was Maurice Tobin the last one to step up statewide or nationally?

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Yes, before he was mayor, but conversely in the early 1990s, Bill Galvin was a state rep from Brighton who is now about to start his 8th term in the office.

In general, it's tough considering the power of incumbency coupled with the odd Republican success in the corner office. Just think, if she had beaten Marty Walsh back in the day, Martha Coakley would have been that Boston politician that did what Andrea Campbell is seeking to accomplish.

As for the office of mayor of Boston itself look at what the predecessors did-
Walsh- cabinet secretary
Menino- 20 years as mayor, so that was his thing
Flynn- Ambassador
White- 16 years as mayor, but yes, a failure at becoming a nominee for VP in what would have turned out to be a blowout loss.
Collins- not too much for a 2 termer
Hynes- a good, though accidental mayor
Curley- elected to Congress and as governor

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His lieutenant-governor running mate was some state rep from Brookline named Mike Dukakis.

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edit below

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I was talking about municipal politicians trying to step up. Municipal pols don't run well statewide.

Don't tell me about Flynn's ambassadorship - he came to realize it was an insult from Clinton and switched to the Republicans.

At least Biden treated Marty with respect.

But those are appointed positions, not elected

Wu would make an excellent ambassador to the PRC or RoC depending on what message you want to send in the coming crisis.
Or an Assistant Sec State for E. Asian affairs

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Generally the Ambassador to China and our point person in Taiwan (by definition not an ambassador but they have a fancy title) are career diplomats. You only make political appointments to places like Japan where we want to impress the local government with a prestige appointment (Carolyn Kennedy for Japan was such a case, the daughter of a beloved former President) but are pretty confident they won't need to defuse daily bombs. Although even they are generally babysat by a deputy. As capable as Wu is no president would toss a diplomatic newcomer into China unless the payout would be huge and I can't think of who they would be so impressed by that experience wouldn't matter.

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Gary Locke jumps out as a recent PRC ambassador, and he had zero foreign diplomatic experience. Or he had as much foreign policy experience as Sarah Palin did, being the governor of a state on the Pacific coast.

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Recent ambassadors to the PRC who were not career Foreign Service:

Brandstad, Baucus, Locke, Huntsman, Randt Prueher, Sasser, Roy, and Woodcock

This kind of thing is on Wikipedia

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Recent ambassadors to the PRC who were not career Foreign Service:

Brandstad, Baucus, Locke, Huntsman, Randt Prueher, Sasser, Roy, and Woodcock

This kind of thing is on Wikipedia

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Would disagree. I mean, if you reference Campbell, there’s Galvin as the counterpoint for the past 28 years.

But to play on you, um, stereotyped ideas on Wu, no, neither ambassadorships (or whatever we call the person in Taipei) would work. She’d be good at as a nuts and bolts cabinet secretary.

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Yes I stereotype her as a Mandarin speaker (rare in the Foreign Service) who has the prestige of being an elected mayor of a major(?) American city.

I expect she has the skills. Would be powerful public diplomacy

As for Galvin, he was never a Boston city official. State rep

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I missed that a city councilor is more prestigious than a state rep.

As for Wu, she’d be walking in Flynn’s steps as an ambassador.

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