10 Years of Politics
The Hiller Instinct: 10 Years of Politics
"The status quo must go...(cheers)..."
In 1993, Tom Menino was just a rookie mayor, now he is the status quo. Menino is just one of the politicians who've dominated our news during the past decade, providing memorable moments time won't make us forget.
1994 began with Tip O'Neill lying in state in the State House, a rare honor for a rare politician. Governor William Weld was cruising to re-election, while Senator Ted Kennedy was challenged by an unknown republican named Mitt Romney in a race decided when Kennedy leaned on his legacy in a debate…
"Mr. Romney, the Kennedys are not in public service to make money. We have paid too high a price...(applause)."
1995 was a Kennedy year as JFK Jr. tried to marry politics and entertainment in a magazine and Ted Kennedy took me on a tour of the capitol, still connected to JFK.
"See, look at the second one down from the top… See Mr. Green... Mr. Kennedy."
In 1996, Billy Bulger ended his tour at the State House with unintended irony…
"What would you imagine your legacy is?"
"Oh, I have no idea... I wouldn't dare try to define it."
And John Kerry beat Bill Weld in a heavyweight battle for a senate seat. As the Clintons danced their way into a second term in 1997, John Kerry denied any interest in the White House…
"How about what?"
"An inaugural for you?"
"(laughs)... You’re funny."
Not many thought it was funny when Bill Weld quit as governor that summer to try to become ambassador to Mexico. Like his famous photo op, Weld simply seemed to take a dive on the state..."
But Paul Cellucci didn't mind, acting governor when Weld left, he became the actual governor by beating Scott Harshbarger in another election that turned on a debate…
"You tell the truth and I'll tell the truth and we'll see who decides, who wins this."
"Scott, you can't handle the truth. (cheers)"
The truth was also tough for Congressman Joe Kennedy to handle. After his brother, Michael, died amid reports of an affair with a teenage baby sitter, Kennedy ended his own life in government…
"I don't have any plans for public office in the future."
In 1999, presidential politics took over. John Kerry announced he wouldn't run... and the GOP front-runner was a governor from Texas with little foreign policy experience. When I asked him to name four foreign leaders, it became international news…
"And the prime minister of India?"
George W. Bush
"The new prime minister of India… I, uh, no..."
In 2000 Bush won the White House, which led in 2001 to Cellucci leaving the State House to become Bush's Ambassador to Canada, leaving inexperienced Jane Swift in the corner office…
"You know that expectations going in are pretty low?"
Everyone felt pretty low when Congressman Joe Moakley was buried that summer. The bi-partisan turnout for his funeral reflected the power of his personality.
9-11, 2001, launched from Logan Airport, gave Jane Swift a singular opportunity to prove herself, but she struggled...
Enter 2002 and re-enter Mitt Romney, now an Olympic hero. Romney's resume and resources forced Swift out of the race, while democrats picked Shannon O'Brien to run against him. Once again, a close race came down to a crucial debate... and O'Brien wilted…
"It would be really great if I got to speak for what I believe and she got to speak for what she believes..."
"But you don't tell the truth about what you support... (groans, boos)"
"Thank you very much... (applause)"
There were only cheers when the Democratic Party picked Boston as the site for its 2004 National Convention. But that's next year and this is still 2003 when we see John Kerry finally is running for president and Bill Bulger may be promising more than he can deliver…
"I'm not going anywhere."
And neither are we, because when it comes to politics, Boston is the news city and we're "The News Station".