Echoing what his Sierra Club cohort city council candidate Mike O’Brien told us last week, mayoral candidate (and PubliCola-endorsed) Mike McGinn is backing away from his previous hard-line stance on the waterfront tunnel, saying in a statement that he would “uphold and execute” the tunnel agreement now that the mayor and city council have signed a memorandum of understanding with the state to move forward with the $4.2 billion project.Howie P.S.: Early morning punditry from MorningFizz @Publicola: "He Wants to be Mayor":
“It is not the Mayor’s job to withhold the cooperation of city government in executing this agreement,” McGinn said, adding, “I will, however, continue to ask tough questions.”
McGinn’s newfound recognition of political reality is smart. As numerous city council and mayoral candidates (and PubliCola) have pointed out, the mayor alone can’t stop the tunnel. McGinn’s statement acknowledges that (and, more important, it gives tunnel supporters— who were holding their nose and supporting Mallahan—a reason to support McGinn now).
In a statement, McGinn’s opponent Joe Mallahan derided McGinn for “flip-flopping” on the tunnel.
“My opponent has spent the last eight months campaigning on one issue – stopping the tunnel and our economy from moving forward,” Mallahan said.
“Now he’s changing his position because he’s seen the poll numbers and is fighting for his political life. My opponent has shown he is willing to say whatever voters want to hear.”
What is Mike “No waterfront tunnel” McGinn thinking? Yesterday afternoon, he announced that he will “uphold” the tunnel deal.
I called him to ask what his political calculus was, but (despite our lovely McGinn endorsement) he never called back.
Here’s what I think he’s thinking: He wants to be mayor.Only time—and money—will tell if it pays off.