The Hiller Instinct: Bulger Battle
In January, officers carried Bulger on a stretcher after he fainted at a funeral. Now, Mitt Romney is putting Bulger's political health on life support:
Governor Mitt Romney (R) Massachusetts
"It's not a matter of personality or person, it's a matter of simple efficiency.
"Bulger may not be dollars, but the symbolism could not be more powerful.
"That's true, that's true... and I think that's not lost on the legislature."
Romney was destined to collide with Bulger, an old school politician, who spent 35 years in the State House, 17 as senate president, before becoming president of UMass in 1996.
"On advice of counsel I am unable to answer any questions today."
William Bulger, UMass President, December 6, 2002
Their differences went public after Bulger took the Fifth before federal lawmakers investigating his fugitive brother, James "Whitey" Bulger.
"Would you ever take the Fifth Amendment before a congressional committee?"
"I can't imagine the circumstances that would lead me in that direction."
Nor would Romney take the direction Bulger took when he told a grand jury, "I don't feel an obligation to help everyone" catch "Whitey".
"If one of your sons committed a crime, would you advise him to surrender?"
UMass said Bulger was out of town fundraising today, and sent us to a former chairman of the UMass board.
"I think Bill Bulger has the strong support of the alumni, the board of trustees, the administrators, the faculty and I think he has the strong support of the legislators and I think for that reason Bill Bulger stays."
Robert Karam , Fmr. Chair. UMass Brd. of Trustees
"I think the legislature will agree with me, that it's time for restructuring in state agencies, including higher education."
"So Bulger goes?"
"And President Bulger would not be needed under that realization."
Listening to the governor, I'd say Billy Bulger is now on borrowed time and the only question is how much can he borrow.