Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ye Olde St. Patty's Day Breakfast

For any talk of the "New Boston", there's no stronger sign that things have stayed the same as the St Patrick's Day Breakfast. Every vaguely important congressperson, mayor, governor in the state comes to a roast filled with Irish music, step dancers, "special guests" from Ireland, and corned beef 'n cabbage. One of the guests today was the Irish Minister of Justice...who's singing a traditional Irish song. Also present were the Dropkick Murphys. Quite the spectrum...

And regardless of the election of Suffolk County sheriff Andrea Cabral and our governor, the head table is dominated by Americans of Italian and Irish descent. What's more, Deval is clearly out of his element. In the last two years, he has sung one song, and brought a little scorecard. Meanwhile, the Jack Harts and Sal DiMasis of the state run rings around him with sharp joke after sharp joke. Congressman Steve Lynch and Mayor Tom Menino are reliable for a good laugh.

This is nothing against Deval -- his little pro-casino song was cute. However, his clear discomfort for the ongoing "good ol' boy" vibe is such an impediment for him to get things done. What's more, this isn't necessarily a race thing: Cabral has always seemed at home during the event. So does Terry Murray.

It's an incredibly humorous spectacle, often unintentionally so. But it's rather sad that the governor of our state struggles so mightily to connect with its other leaders. As with John Kerry and Mitt Romney, the two show their elitist roots so clearly this day, and it's not a pleasant sight.

PS: An interesting view into the whole process. I saw Terry Murray tell the joke about McCain answering the question "boxers or briefs" with "Depends" the night before the St. Patrick's breakfast at a function. She didn't tell it the next morning...Rep. Stephen Lynch did instead.

No comments: