Is Menino running for re-election or not? And if so, will anyone challenge him?
And "Jabari" asks:
Can you outline the timeline that will come into play for the Mayoral election and who will do what, when?
My answer to Iceman's questions is best summarized in the first section of my recent profile of Boston City Councilor John Connolly. Basically, Menino is moving forward with intent to run. As far as I can tell, Connolly is the only person who is both capable of posing a serious challenge to the mayor, and seems willing to actually do it.
As for timing, signature papers become available the end of April, and must be pulled by May 13. My expectation is that if Connolly (or some other significant challenger) intends to run, they won't wait very long -- mid-March at the latest. (If no serious challenger emerges, I think Menino will wait to formally announce until April, as he did in 2009.)
If someone serious does jump in, then there's an interesting tension at work. Does Menino re-assess whether he's up to a real campaign? Do other mayoral wannabes consider getting in, worried that they might be missing the once-in-a-generation transition?