I am genuinely saddened by the news that former state senator Dianne Wilkerson has been sentenced to three and a half years federal imprisonment. I don't disagree with the punishment. But I am saddened nonetheless.
Wilkerson has been in many ways a terrific public servant to the Commonwealth, and to her constituents. She was a constant and stalwart advocate for those in society who most needed one.
In the middle of a day overflowing with state news activity comes the unexpected and truly awful news that former Governor Paul Cellucci has Lou Gehrig's disease.
I believe Glen Johnson has reported it for the Associated Press, so look for it on local news sites.
Oh, what an exciting week this is for those who enjoy the arcane rituals and traditions of the peaceful transfer of power in the world's greatest democracy!
For starters, congratulations to Stephen Murphy, who got voted in as the new president of the Boston City Council. He (and his staff!) finally get the big office, and all the trappings and attention that come with it -- and, one imagines, a fundraising boost toward his re-election later this year.
There is not a lot of big news coming out of the string of interviews Governor Deval Patrick is doing this week -- including one with me -- other than the fact that he's doing them at all. Patrick has not always made, shall we say, warm outreach to the fourth estate. Clearly, as he indicated in his one-on-one with me Tuesday afternoon, he hopes to get more positive press coverage in the second term, and I'd say he has realized the futility of his first-term strategy of sitting behind closed doors being bitter about the negative coverage.
I've been doing these rankings for two years now, starting on the final day of 2008. Looking back at that first list, seemingly so early in the cycle for speculation, what's remarkable to me is how little things have changed since then.
Sure, a few have dropped off the list -- Mark Sanford, most notably, as well as his fellow adulterer John Ensign; also Kay Bailey Hutchison and Charlie Crist, both of whom got humiliatingly rejected by conservatives in their home states this year; and a few of my thinking-outside-the-box names like Bill Frist and Tom Ridge.
I have been invited to interview Governor Deval Patrick tomorrow, in a series of 15-minute "exclusives" he's giving to community papers in advance of his inauguration. He wants to talk about his goals for his second term, as well as lessons he's learned from the first.
Well, I'm turning the floor over to you -- what would you like to ask the governor?