Mayor Menino to deliver 20th State of the City address

Mayor Menino in a welcome video for college students.

Tuesday night, Mayor Thomas Menino will give his 20th State of the City address amid curiosity and speculation about whether the 70-year-old can and will run for reelection this fall.

The past year has not been easy for Menino, the city’s longest serving mayor, with health issues leaving him hospitalized for weeks, sports radio highlighting his continued athlete name flubs and a start up organization comparing him to Putin.

Despite the tough 2012, it remains to be seen if the issues have caused Menino – who has yet to say whether he will run again – any political harm.

Thomas Whalen, a Boston University professor and political historian, said that Menino is helped by his still strong get-out-the-vote effort and that there are no credible candidates to challenge him.

“There are no credible candidates out there that can offer a strong challenge unless he has another health problem develop or some unforeseen scandal. I don’t see him being vulnerable,” he said.

To help himself in his possible reelection bid, Menino must talk about his relevance, Whalen said.

“What he really needs to talk about is his relevance across generations and with no particular age or gender group,” he said. “He has to show people he’s still on his game.”

While Menino will turn 71 just after the upcoming election, a political science expert said that his age and health do not completely rule him out.

“There have been plenty of politicians that have served that have been 70 years old,” said Paul Watanabe, chair of the political science department at UMass Boston.

Despite that, Watanabe said that the audience of Tuesday night’s address will still focus more on Menino’s health and potential future than the content of his speech.

“My guess is that most of the attention will not be focused on substance or a policy agenda, but … hints about his political future,” he said.

Flubs and feats

In the past year Menino has had his fair share of missteps and accomplishments:

*Adding to the “Meninoism” list, the mayor mispronounced the names of Patriots Vince Wilfork and Rob Gronkowski while making a friendly wager on the AFC Championship game with Baltimore’s mayor. He referred to them as “Wilcox” and “Gonk.”
*In the same year that Menino challenged Bostonians to lose 1 million pounds, City Hall Plaza was also the site of a free Wendy’s giveaway that offered people “Son of Baconator” cheeseburgers.
*A startup group aimed at stirring Bostonians to change the city debuted itself with the launch of a video that compares Menino to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The founder of the Future Boston Alliance, Greg Selkoe, is also the owner of Karmaloop.

*Many have praised Menino for his push on making Boston a bicycle-friendly city and in 2012, the city’s bicycle-sharing system Hubway expanded and the number of bikes and stations grew.
*The Innovation District continued to grow in 2012 with celebrity chef Ming Tsai announcing the opening of a restaurant in the Fort Point area and the groundbreaking of a new building that will add hundreds of new residential units.
*While seen as controversial, Menino won praise from many people last year when he put his foot down and sternly spoke out against Chick-fil-A potentially opening near Faneuil Hall. The fast food chain came under fire after its president made anti-gay comments.


NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…


Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.


Paint Nite: Get drunk and make a painting…

At Paint Nite, New Yorkers can drink and make a painting at a New York City bar.


Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…


Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.


Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.


'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.


PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.


MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack


2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?


5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.


'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.


Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.


5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.


Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…


Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.