The Boston Herald got an exclusive interview with a hopping-mad Mayor Thomas Menino after a series of provocations from the John Kerry campaign left him questioning the competency of Kerry and his staff. Menino launched several attacks during his interview with David Guarino and Noelle Straub:
Mayor Thomas M. Menino unloaded a searing attack on fellow Democrat John F. Kerry yesterday, calling his presidential campaign “small-minded” and “incompetent” – laying bare a years-old rift weeks before the city plays host to Kerry’s FleetCenter coronation. Menino, in an exclusive Herald interview, let loose on the hometown senator two days after Kerry snubbed him by siding with union picketers outside a U.S. Conference of Mayors event. …
Menino said he was enraged to see a local newspaper item saying he hung up on Kerry Sunday. The mayor yesterday said Kerry’s campaign floated the story, which he called untrue.
“I wasn’t angry with him, that’s a rumor they’re spreading,” Menino said. “They are trying to balance out their decision by saying the mayor’s angry. I had no harsh words with them.”
Menino called the alleged leak “the failure of the campaign to communicate with the public,” adding, “They are trying to find scapegoats for their incompetency.”
Just how incompetent is the Kerry campaign? Over the last 72 hours, they’ve managed to alienate the Democratic mayor of the city where their big party will take place in a few weeks, promising to provide further embarrassing publicity as Menino retaliates for being shown up by Kerry to benefit his push with labor unions — a constituency that should already be sewn up by the Democrats anyway. Now the campaign has angered many of the mayors attending the conference, even the Democrats, and given Governor Mitt Romney an opportunity to rescue Menino and generate supportive statements from the mayor in return.
It appears that they aren’t learning from their mistakes, either. The Kerry campaign reacted by suggesting that the mayor may not be completely mentally healthy:
But, in a move that might only intensify the public war of words, the Kerry campaign responded by suggesting Menino made the comments because of the “pressure” he’s under as convention host. …
“Maybe they should use some of their energies to get their message across to the American people instead of trying to destroy the integrity of someone who is on their team, to try to discredit someone on their team,” Menino said. “They have better things to do.”
Sounds like Menino may not be terribly fond of his party’s nominee, and the Herald suggests that displeasure could manifest itself in November by having his political machine sandbag a bit during the run-up to the election. Based on the reaction of a few of the other mayors at the conference, Kerry may have similar problems in West Haven and especially Miami, where every vote will be precious to either candidate. Mayors are the front line of any election, and deliberately antagonizing them is not just incompetent, it’s almost deliberately self-destructive. (via Drudge)