He doesn’t believe anyone can beat him.
“No one can beat me,” he says over and over.
– The Mayor’s Blue Suit talking with Josh Resnek
By JOSH RESNEK
A few days back, I picked up the Blue Suit at the end of Abbott Avenue where it meets Elm Street in the early morning. It was snowing. The Blue Suit opened the passenger door. He stepped into my car. He sank into the seat. He let out a huge sigh.
“You OK?” I asked him.
“I’m good,” he answered. “Thank god the mayor went out early. He gives out free time to me the way he likes to throw c-notes around, which is to say, he tosses around c-notes like manhole covers.
“Drive into Woodlawn Cemetery,” the Blue Suit ordered me to do.
He directed me to drive toward the area of the cemetery that borders the back side of Abbott Avenue.
“I can keep an eye on the mayor’s mansion from here,” he said to me.
“What stories I can tell you about what’s gone on inside the mansion,” the Blue Suit added.
“Forget it,” I replied. “I don’t need to hear that stuff. I mean, don’t you think the mayor deserves a bit of privacy from you?”
“Yeah. I guess you’re right,” the Blue said.
We were chatting about this and that, more this than that, when he perked up.
“You know that last trip the mayor took to Aruba?” the Blue Suit asked.
“Of course. I wrote about it.”
“Well, when he was away, he left his car with one of his media honchos. She used it the entire time he was away. He instructed her to do that. You know, she parked it at city hall. It looked like he was there when he was in Aruba.”
“So what?” I asked the Blue Suit. “That’s no big deal.”
“Is it a big deal if the woman driving the car and working for the mayor and paid by the city left city hall two to three times a day and drove to Abbott Street, to the mansion, to walk the mayor’s dog?”
The Blue Suit looked very satisfied with himself.
“Is that really what happened?” I asked.
“You can take it to the bank,” he answered.
That was a revelation. Some congressmen have been made to resign for doing the same.
The cemetery appeared as though it had been painted with a thick white patina. Beautiful really.
“Josh, listen to this. No one knows about this.”
I perked up immediately.
“I’m ready,” I said eagerly.
The Blue Suit starts the tale.
“He’s wearing me. We’re in the mansion’s living room. His cell phone rings. It’s Senator Ted Cruz!”
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I was surprised. I didn’t know the mayor knew Ted Cruz and vice versa.
“How are you doing, Carlo,” I heard Cruz say to him, the Blue Suit told me.
“I should be asking you how you’re doing,” Carlo replied to Cruz.
“You’ve been catching a lot of flak for going to Cancun at the same moment Texas is going down the drain.” Carlo laughed. Carlo loves his twisted sense of humor.
“The second trip to Aruba came when the virus figures exploded, and the city was in chaos. I told everyone not to worry. I’d be in touch from the beach on my cell.”
“You have no idea, Carlo,” Cruz said to him. “The media is killing me.”
The mayor hesitated a moment.
“Yeah. I did the same thing, Ted. Twice, actually.
The first time I took off to Aruba when the shutdown came last March. I didn’t care. You shouldn’t either. You want to go away, you go away. Who cares what the people think!” Carlo said. “Who cares if the city is shutting down!”
“You’ve got that right, Carlo,” Cruz said to him. Carlo told Cruz about his second trip.
“The second trip to Aruba came when the virus figures exploded, and the city was in chaos. I told everyone not to worry. I’d be in touch with the city from the beach on my cell!”
“Is that really what you said?” Cruz asked.
“Exactly what I said,” Carlo answered.
“Many Everett people believed me. Even though I took about 100 days of vacation last year, I had some Everett people telling me I deserved to go away! How unreal is that?” he asked.
Senator Cruz could not believe what he was hearing.
“Were you forced to apologize for exercising bad judgment,” he asked the mayor.
“Are you kidding,” Carlo shot back. “Some people wanted to give me a medal.”
Cruz pit his fingers through his beard.
“I had to apologize. I had to admit to bad judgment. How the hell do you get away with the stuff you pull?” he asked Carlo.
Carlo lit a cigar. He was trying to concentrate on a Baywatch re-run. He loves Baywatch, the Blue Suit recalled.
“I get away with most everything because people are stupid because they need their jobs, their contracts, their permits, and everything else that flows through my office.
“People are idiots in this city. People are so stupid. They believe whatever I tell them. The ones who don’t want to believe what I tell them, well, I threaten those people with the loss of their jobs. That helps to keep their mouths shut,” he added.
The mayor changed to the Jerry Springer Show. He loves Jerry Springer according to the Blue Suit.
“You still there, Carlo,” Senator Cruz asked.
“Yeah. I’m here. I’m trying to talk with you and to watch Jerry Springer,” gushed the mayor.
“I watch Springer every day inside my senate office when I’m in DC. Did you see the one where two brothers were in love with their sister and the father came out on the stage and decked both the sons and then the sister complained?” Senator Cruz asked Carlo.
“Sounds great. I’ll look for it. I must have missed it,” Carlo said.
He thought briefly about 12 years. He’s served for 12 years as mayor. That’s an eternity.
“Back to Everett,” the mayor said.
“Considering Everett’s size, I think I do pretty damned well. The W-2 doesn’t tell the whole story about a mayor’s compensation.” Carlo laughed. Actually, he heaved more than he laughed. He thought he was funnier than Dave Chappelle.
“If I can get beyond the idiots complaining in Everett, you can survive in your senate seat in Texas. Who cares if you went on vacation when the whole state lost its electricity. What an incredible move, Ted. I mean I am in admiration of a move like that.”
“I heard you stayed at the Ritz in Cancun,” the mayor said to Cruz. ‘Did you like it? I always stay at the Ritz in Aruba. It’s $1000 a night but who cares. I don’t pay for it if you know what I mean.”
“I’m right there with you on that one buddy,” Cruz said to Carlo.
Ted asked the mayor about the upcoming mayoral election.
“Are you all set? Will you get another term?” Cruz asked Carlo.
“No one can beat me,” Carlo answered. “I can’t be beaten,” he added.
Cruz asked about the lay of the land. “Is anyone running against you?”
“I think there may be two candidates running for mayor besides myself.”
“One is the lawyer and Councilor Fred Capone. He couldn’t beat me if I spotted him 2,000 votes. Everyone has a dream of being mayor, don’t they?” he said to Cruz.
Cruz asked about the second candidate.
“It’s a Black woman. A big mouth, wise-guy, aggressive and assertive Black woman. She can’t stand me. I hate her. You know how it is, Ted. You’ve got some good hate in your heart, too, don’t you?”
“Oh yes,” Cruz replied.
“I’m a Republican, aren’t I?”
Cruz posed a question to the mayor.
“Don’t you think you’re being a bit presumptuous, you know, tempting the fates, claiming you can’t lose?”
The mayor took a moment before responding.
“As long as Everett voters remain as stupid as they are, I cannot be beaten.”