Former City Councilman Bob “Troll” Walsh gazes into his crystal ball to divine Council President Tom McCarthy’s political future. “After the rough year he had this year in the State Senate Primary, next year will be no walk in the park.”
First he may have a tough council year just trying to position himself for a potential primary in the fall. With lingering questions over how the mayor is handling issues like public safety, education, city finances and economic development, trying to serve again as the mayor’s bucket boy may continue to damage his public standing. But if he turns on the mayor he may face a primary challenge from someone deep inside the Democratic Party.
If he plays nice with the mayor, someone might look at Marilyn Moore’s Primary road map and decide a primary challenge is very doable. An African American with strong roots in the community especially in the education system would make life very difficult for Tommy Boy. Attack him on his rudderless leadership, his conflicts of interest and self-serving history and he could be very beatable. It would take a strong candidate whose strength is where Tom is weak but Moore showed he definitely can be beaten in his own backyard.
And if he could get by the election cycle he would still need to win the internal fistfight dealmaking of the Council President election. If two or three districts flip, a coalition could be formed to upset his plans. There are a lot of ifs in play but for someone who just demonstrated how poor his political instincts can be, it is definitely doable.
And then the biggest question of all will be if he is not elected Council Prez, would he even bother serving out his term. A lot of ifs and question marks are in Tom McCarthy’s future. And along with them some potential detours and roadblocks that could waylay his political path. Does Tom have the guts to simply drop off the council and attack them and the mayor from the sidelines? Only time and Tom will tell.