Finneran's wake. Scot Lehigh's profile of House Speaker Tom Finneran in yesterday's Boston Globe Magazine serves as a reminder of what a talented and brilliant person Finneran really is. Unfortunately, Lehigh offers no reason to hope that Finneran has learned what he should have learned from his power-crazed mistakes of the last several years, mistakes that have damaged his reputation and driven out many talented House members.
The most telling anecdote is offered by former Senate president Tom Birmingham, talking about the endless budget discussions that the two men held in 1999, when the state's spending plan was finally approved five months late:
"I tried to make the case that we were doing irreparable harm to our institutional and personal reputations by not concluding this," Birmingham says. "And I said, using more scatological words, 'Everybody thinks we are a couple of jerks.' And he said, 'No, I disagree. I think everybody is saying, "Those two guys really know what they are talking about." ' This is like five months into the stalemated budget. Nobody knew what we were talking about."
Birmingham laughs in disbelief at the memory, repeating the remark as though it's the punch line of a favorite joke: "No, I think everybody is saying, 'Those two guys really know what they are talking about.' "