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Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Boston Politics Stuff

Two unrelated items worth posting on:

First, the Globe today seems to be trying to create some tension between the current State Senate President Robert Travaglini and former President Tom Birmingham. "Senate President Facing Predecessor's Fiscal Gap", reads the headline, as if Birmingham is solely responsible for the budget being tight these days. It also misleads somewhat by implying Trav and staff are pissed at Birmingham, which is not supported by the text of the article--no one in Trav's office is on record pointing the finger at Birmingham for the money being short. The Globe seems really to want to concoct the impression that Birmingham was spending freely to help his chances in the governor's race, and the irony is that if Birmingham were governor today, rather than Mitt Romney, we would not be seeing such draconian budget cuts of basic services to the vulnerable in society.

Second, the Boston convention news has been heavy the last few days now that we're less than a year away. Seeing Bill Richardson appointed to a chair position for the convention makes me wonder whether that is in some way an admission that he isn't a contender for vice president. Would it be logistically possible for Richardson to do the work as chairman and also be the VP nominee? He has always impressed me as an up-and-coming Democrat, and I know he had serious consideration in 2000 before nuclear secrets were stolen from Los Alamos under his watch as Energy secretary. But does that episode forever bar him from the national ticket? I saw Richardson on This Week a few months ago and remember thinking he was a winner for the Democrats. I hope his national career may as yet be resurrected. (Of course, perhaps he has already ruled this out, pledged to serve four years in New Mexico [does NM have a four-year term?], etc.).