BOSTON – Tuesday night. Boston. The returns were in. The election was over. A victor had been declared. Martin Walsh’s cell phone rang. He answered. On the other end was vice president of the United States, Joseph R. Biden, offering his congratulations.
“You son of a gun, Marty! You did it!”
But the thing of it was…it was the wrong Marty Walsh.
Biden had meant to call and congratulate Martin J. Walsh, a legislator and long-time labor leader, who eked out a narrow victory over City Councilor John R. Connolly to become Boston’s 48th mayor. The mayor elect was reportedly at the Park Plaza Hotel, celebrating his victory when he did not receive a call from the vice president.
The Marty Walsh Biden had called, was a former aide to US Senator Edward M. Kennedy and is now the president of Gateway Public Solutions, a government relations firm in Boston. This Marty Walsh said he was sitting on the couch with his wife at their home in Natick, watching the election results on television when he got the call from Biden. He was quite gracious and thanked Biden for the kind words but was compelled to tell him that he had reached the wrong Marty. He then offered to help the VP track down the right Marty.
Biden need not feel too badly — others who phoned in enthusiastic congratulations to the wrong Marty Walsh included R.T. Rybak, the mayor of Minneapolis and vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the committee.
The wrong Walsh explained the mix up this way: “We’re a dime a dozen in Boston,” he said. “I probably know eight Marty Walshes.”