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Mayor Menino’s Emotional Day Ends With Call From President Obama

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Award-winning journalist Lisa Hughes is a news anchor for WBZ-TV News...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Tom Menino’s departure will mark the end of an era, but he wants everyone to know he has another nine months in office and intends to work hard to the finish.

The mayor ended his busy day on NightSide with Dan Rea.

Soon after, he received a phone call from the White House.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino on the phone with President Barack Obama. (Photo from Peter Casey)

Boston Mayor Tom Menino on the phone with President Barack Obama. (Photo from Peter Casey)

Seventeen hours after his emotional day started, Mayor Menino was still going, getting words of thanks from President Obama and singing the city’s praises.

“Mr. President we got a great city here, we just got to work together to make it better,” Menino said.

Earlier in the day, President Obama released a statement saying, “Boston is the vibrant, welcoming, and world-class city it is today because of Tom Menino.”

On NightSide, the mayor explained what went into the toughest decision of his political career.

“Do I really need another term?” he said. “I’ve got five terms, I’ve got 20 years, nobody has ever done that in Boston. I think I brought us to a different place in our country’s history.”

Menino admitted on the air that he broke down telling his staff he wouldn’t run again, and bit his tongue, at times, to avoid tearing up at Faneuil Hall Thursday afternoon. There was a welcome moment of levity when Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino called in.

Lucchino wanted the mayor to know he speaks for all of Red Sox nation.

“Mayor we just want to congratulate you, and thank you,” said Lucchino.

Mayor Menino is going out on top, but not just yet. His term doesn’t end until January.

“I’m not gonna retire,” he told WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes. “I’m just leaving this job.”

He says he’ll be working for the city he loves and the people in its neighborhoods every day until then.

The mayor says he’ll outline specific plans for the next nine months very soon, but says they’ll include economic development goals and activities for special needs kids.

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