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The Hiller Instinct

Interview with Mayor-elect Marty Walsh

"The exciting thing about winning is proving all my critics wrong about the labor stuff," Mayor-elect Marty Walsh said.

Everybody knew about Marty Walsh and unions, but the new mayor-elect is still fairly unknown:

                "For people who don't know you," Hiller asked, "which three words best describe you?"

                Walsh:  "Loyal, honest, hardworking...that's four words, but..."

                For Walsh, politics is personal, very personal:

                Hiller: "You've talked about being a recovering alcoholic.

                Walsh: "Yeah."

                Hiller: "How has being a recovering alcoholic, how will that make you a better mayor?"

                Walsh: "It's been part of making me a great- good candidate, I should say, you know, just being able to contemplate and not pre-judge people and offer second chances.  And really listen to people."

                Hiller:  "Do you ever still get tempted to drink?"

                Walsh:  "Never."

                Hiller:  "Is that the way it usually is?  A person stops and they can't..."

                Walsh:  "Yeah, my life is too good today, my life is incredible and I work the program, so, I'm not going to drink."

                And, to Walsh, being mayor will be no laughing matter:

                Hiller:  "What's your favorite joke?"

                Walsh: "Oh, God. I don't really have one.  Favorite joke?"

                Hiller: "Tell at speeches?"

                Walsh:  "Oh, I'm not a good joke teller."

                But Walsh hints he'll be very good at something more important than telling jokes:  getting more money for Boston from the State House.

                Hiller:  "I saw the picture of the Speaker hugging you.  Does that mean we can expect- Boston can expect more from Beacon Hill than we've gotten in the past?"

                Walsh:  "I hope so, I hope so." 

                 Hiller:  "You're going to tell them that?"

                Walsh:  "And the Senate president endorsed me as well, so...  I hope it does."

                Hiller:  "Good luck."

                Walsh:  "Thank you."

The new mayor knows he's built up great expectations throughout Boston.

When I asked him if he's at all concerned he won't be able to meet them, he said, "no," and then added, "not right now."