The Boston mayoral race: Debate 2 | Todd Domke

And the winner is...

By Todd Domke
September 11, 2009

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LET’S rank the candidates’ performances, with one being the best.

EXPECTATIONS: Menino managed to go below embarrassingly low expectations. Yoon was too boring. McCrea was better than his gadfly image. Flaherty was conventional, but mayoral. 1) Flaherty, 2) McCrea, 3) Yoon, 4) Menino.

AVOIDING FLUBS: Menino said Boston schools must accept “every kid who has to be a learner.’’ Yoon said he didn’t care about Boston’s bond ratings. 1) Flaherty, 2) McCrea, 3) Yoon, 4) Menino.

TELEGENIC: Flaherty could be picked by a casting director for “mayoral type.’’ 1) Flaherty, 2)Yoon, 3)McCrea, 4) Menino.

GRAVITAS: Yoon is earnest, but doesn’t project depth of experience. 1) Flaherty, 2) Menino, 3) McCrea, 4) Yoon.

PASSION: McCrea speaks with conviction, Yoon with sincerity, Flaherty with memorized lines, and Menino with the hope that the debate ends soon. 1) McCrea, 2) Yoon, 3) Flaherty, 4) Menino.

SOUND BITES: Yoon told Menino that after sitting in the mayor’s chair for 16 years, “you’ve become the chair.’’ 1) Yoon, 2) Flaherty, 3) McCrea, 4) Menino.

CREDIBILITY: Menino couldn’t admit to failing Boston in any respect. 1) Yoon, 2) Flaherty, 3) McCrea, 4) Menino.

CONTROL THE AGENDA: McCrea contrasted his candidacy with the other three “politicians.’’ 1) McCrea, 2) Flaherty, 3) Yoon, 4) Menino.

HUMOR: Menino was asked if it bothered him that people criticized his speaking style. His answer was basically unintelligible. 1) McCrea, 2) Yoon, 3) Menino, 4) Flaherty.

NEW IDEAS: Yoon can sound like a futurist, but overly academic. McCrea seemed interested in “new ideas.’’ Flaherty sounded like a conventional city councilor. Menino seemed oblivious to any suggestion that his record wasn’t impressive. 1) Yoon, 2) McCrea, 3) Flaherty, 4) Menino.

And the winner? 1) Flaherty - 20; 2) McCrea - 21; 3) Yoon - 22; and 4) Menino - 37.

Todd Domke is a Republican political analyst and author.

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