“… But I think his days are numbered if they both run.”
– The Blue Suit to Josh Resnek
By JOSH RESNEK
The Blue Suit and I were seated on a bench outside the Parlin Public Library yesterday afternoon. We love watching the Everett world go by us – buses, trucks,
long lines of automobile traffic, and the people – all kinds of people who are strolling about the city on a typical weekday afternoon.
No one paid any attention to us; certainly not with our face- masks on. We blended in, that is, as much as a Blue Suit (yes, the very Blue Suit worn and abused by the mayor over and over) and a bearded older writer for the Leader Herald can become a part of the background hardly noticed while seated on a bench on Broadway.
We talked about Derek Chauvin, the policeman sent to prison for leaning on the neck of George Floyd until he died.
Chauvin is white. Floyd was Black.
“I was kind of surprised the mayor had nothing to say about the jury decision,” I said to the Blue Suit.
“He didn’t really care enough about it to comment,” the Blue Suit replied.
“Really!” I said. I was surprised.
“Gee, the mayor has so much to say about diversity. I can’t imagine why he didn’t prove it by saying that justice was done.” “Are you crazy?” the Blue Suit asked. He looked at me with a twist in his face.
“Josh,” he said to me. “You’re supposed to be smart. Don’t you know the mayor yet? He cares about diversity as much as he cares about Black people. That’s zero, Josh. Don’t you get it? Don’t you understand how he thinks? He doesn’t care about Black people. He hates Black women like Gerly Adrien. He’s a typical overweight macho man in love with what he sees in the mirror when he looks at himself,” added the Blue Suit.
We watched the traffic speeding by.
“Can you imagine?” I asked. “Some councilors want to impose a 25-mph speed limit on the city’s streets. What a joke! The police would have to triple the size of the police department and write thousands of speeding tickets before anything useful could be accomplished. About the only thing that would be accomplished is that the mayor would be thrown out of office. And speaking of the mayor, how’s your master doing?”
“Funny you should ask. Actually, it’s not funny. It’s predictable. My master, you call him, well, he’s thinking about running and getting re-elected. He believes he cannot lose. He absolutely believes this. He thinks the candidacy of Fred Capone is a joke. He ridicules Capone. He tells all the sycophants hanging around near to him that Capone does not have a chance.”
I wondered aloud to the Blue Suit.
“What does sycophant mean?” I asked him.
The Blue Suit looked surprised.
“You’re supposed to be a wordsmith, Josh. Sycophants are people who are attached to the mayor’s hip, who agree with everything he says, who flatter him, who remind him often what a great guy he is, and who do exactly as he asks them to achieve their own ends.”
Like many people in the city, I have been thinking about Fred Capone’s candidacy and the possibility of Gerly Adrien’s candidacy. Those two, I believe, could run the mayor out of office with strong, financed, organized, open field runs.
I reminded the Blue Suit of this. I related a story about my mentor in the newspaper business, Andrew P. Quigley, the publisher of the Chelsea Record, and one of the smartest, wisest people I have known.
I told the Blue Suit about going into Mr. Quigley’s office after a certain Chelsea alderman said he was going to run for mayor. “Mr. Quigley,” I said to my boss at this time in my life, “Joe Mulkerin (not a real name) says he’s running for mayor. I think
we ought to do an investigation of this guy.”
Mr. Quigley looked up at me with amazement.
“Josh,” he said, “if you’re going to do an investigation, why don’t you start with yourself.”
I told my mentor the following: “Mulkerin is a drunk, he’s abusive to his wife, to women in general. He hates Blacks, Jews, Irish, and Italians. He’s a gambler. He’s in debt. He’s a thief.”
I stopped there. Mr. Quigley leaned back in his big leather chair. And then he said this to me: “Thoroughly qualified to be the mayor of Chelsea!”
I never forgot that.
Now that Carlo is running for another term, I hear over and over that he cannot lose. That he believes he cannot lose. That no one can beat him. That he will be the mayor forever.
Mr. Quigley had a word for politicians who thought like that. The word was an idiot.
“Do you think the mayor can lose?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“I don’t know, Josh,” he answered.
“Do you think it’s smart that Carlo talks himself up as being unable to lose, unable to be defeated?” I asked.
The Blue Suit pondered the question for a moment.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” he said. “It’s kind of like tempting the fates, isn’t it, Josh?” he asked me.
“Good answer,” I replied.
“What the mayor needs to know is that he can lose. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility. My mentor always told me a politician should never speak of winning or losing, rather, they should just fight the battle as best they can. The rest is a mixture of chance and fate, he would say,” I told the Blue Suit.
“The mayor can lose this election. He is not God – and when you come down to it, only God knows who will win. And God doesn’t let us know until all the votes are counted. God will back the winner, don’t you think?” I asked the Blue Suit.
He mumbled to himself a bit.
“I am not sure God has anything to do with the Everett mayoral election,” the Blue Suit answered. “I’m not sure this time around God is going to be on Carlo’s side,” the Blue Suit added.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Because Carlo has been a bad boy in many ways. Bad deeds and doings have a way of accumulating and then doing you in. Carlo is due, I think. Frankly, I think he knows this and feels it. He can joke all he wants about Fred Capone and Gerly Adrien…but I think his days are numbered if they both run,” the Blue Suit said.
“Carlo is mortal. He is the mayor,” the Blue Suit added. “He is not God.”