BOSTON (CBS) — Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino was a noble man whose belief that government should help people earned him the public’s trust, the co-author of his autobiography said Thursday.
Jack Beatty, who helped write “Mayor For A New America,” spoke with WBZ-TV on Thursday after the mayor’s death.
“He was a politician who didn’t pander,” Beatty said. “He was a politician who avoided speeches because he said he wanted to listen to people, he didn’t want to harangue them.”
Menino earned credibility with his constituents with his focus on basic government services, Beatty said.
“He was attentive to the kinds of things that big politicians just don’t notice, from the pothole, to the streetlight that was out, to the rubbish that wasn’t picked up,” Beatty said. “It tells the citizens, ‘you count, your pothole matters, it matters to be a citizen of Boston and to be concerned.’”
The mayor was often underestimated, and Beatty said some of that could be attributed to his notorious manner of speaking or “studied ineloquence.”
“You have to wonder after a while if this was half-deliberate in an effort to humanize himself and make him much more like ordinary people,” Beatty said.
When Menino first took office in 1994, he gave all the credit for his success to his parents.
“He owed everything to them, to their example above all,” Beatty said. “From his father he learned doggedness and showing up and devotion. Helping other people was what he learned from [his mother].”
And helping others was Menino’s governing philosophy, Beatty said.
“He got that right from home,” Beatty said. “’I believe that the whole job of government was to help people,’ he was unashamed about saying that.”
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