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The Hiller Instinct

Mayor Menino will not run for re-election

Thursday afternoon at four o'clock, Mayor Menino will announce he's not running for re-election.

If that's his decision, then by any measure, it will be the end of a long and surprising career at City Hall.

Tom Menino has been Boston's mayor since 1993...and is the city's longest serving mayor.

He came into office almost by accident, when he was president of the City Council and then-Mayor Ray Flynn left, giving Menino an advantage in the race to replace Flynn.

Since then, Menino has become an omnipresent political force--a recent poll showing half the city's residents had met him personally.

Last October, he went to Brigham and Women's Hospital, after he returned from Italy not feeling well.

He was diagnosed with diabetes; and suffered from an infection, a blood clot, and a broken back.

He was released in December---but wasn't even well enough to go home--and the toll of his health problems has been evident to everyone who's seen him.

I always feel a bit uncomfortable with a story like this, because--logically--the mayor could wake up tomorrow and change his mind.

But right now, I'm being told by people who are the most likely to know, that the "Mayor for Life" is getting ready for a new life.