Menino takes what could be a last stand

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Sidelined by injury and pushed out of the spotlight by the race to replace him, Mayor Thomas M. Menino stormed back into public view this week with characteristic bully-pulpit belligerence – sending a not-so-subtle message that even as he slides into his final days in office, he remains fully in charge.

Thundering from a podium and jabbing the air with his hand, he looked like the furious Menino of old, not a lame duck readying for retirement.

By denouncing the city’s striking bus drivers on several live televised press conferences, then threatening a suit in federal court, Menino steamrolled over the rhetoric of the current campaign and reminded voters of the enormous power he has wielded for 20 years — and will continue to wield until Jan. 6.

“He was not going as quietly into that good night as we thought he may have,” said Ed Jesser, a longtime advisor. “Just because he’s at the end of his mayoralty, he’s not going to stop being the mayor. He is the mayor. And he’s the one who has to do something about it. Everyone else can only talk about it.”

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