The Hiller Instinct: Menino Interview
The status quo was much different when Menino was elected mayor for his first term. Bill Clinton was in the White House and no one had heard of Monica Lewinsky. Barack Obama was teaching law in Chicago. Drew Bledsoe was the Patriots quarterback and Tom Brady was in high school. There was no 9/11, no hanging chads, no war in Iraq. But there was, and still is, the mayor, now running for his fifth term and there could be more.
"We have to get elected first- to decide what we're doing. Hey I'm not going to be a lame duck before I even get there," Menino said.
Half the city says they've met him, and--by now--everyone thinks they know him. They've certainly heard him, and he's heard himself, too.
"I think people understand what I'm saying. Sometimes I might uh, mumble once in a while, but that's the way I've been for uh, 16 years as mayor," Menino said.
"Sometimes I wish -I'd pronounce the words a little bit better. Annunciate better. But tah- that's Tom Menino."
"Do you ever get envious of those smooth talkers," Hiller asked. "Yeah but sometimes those smooth talkers don't have the heart, don't have the com-- I mean, it's all about, you know, it's all about sizzle and no steak," Menino said.
Which is not to say the mayor can't sizzle.
"What's it like when you lose your temper," Hiller asked. "Well, because somebody, you know, we have a disagreement, and I raise my voice about something. And you have to do that sometime when you're the CEO and people aren't listening. People want to do things a little differently than the way they're programmed," Menino said.
"So you talk a little louder," Hiller asked. "A little louder, that's all," Menino said.
"You think that helps them hear it better," Hiller asked.
"Sometimes it does, and sometimes they turn their hearing aid off and don't listen," Menino said.
"Ever slam a phone down on someone," Hiller asked.
"A couple times yeah," said Menino.
"That helps them hear it too," Hiller asked. "That's always- its emotion things. You get frustrated sometimes," Menino said.
So what makes Tom Menino run...again and again? My guess is it's a mixture of pride and resentment.
"When I became mayor- all the reports the mayor will only last one term. He's not handsome, he can't speak, all those things, those are superficial things - when you're elected, it's what you got in your heart," Menino said.
"Don't you take pleasure in proving all that wrong," Hiller asked" "I love it. I love it every day. Just proving everyone wrong," Menino said.
All the stands between the mayor and a fifth term is City Councilor Michael Flaherty.
Tomorrow, how the challenger hopes to win, and what he'll do if he loses. I'm Andy Hiller, 7news.
(Copyright (c) 2009 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)