Joyce Linehan: From Ashmont To City Hall

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Linehan couldn’t turn down a job offer from Marty Walsh.

Joyce Linehan has been promoting music and arts in Boston so well for so long, it’s been easy for many to look at her foray of recent years into politics as just a little hobby, perhaps to give her a little space from her client and comic foil Joe Pernice.

This view could be maintained as she joined other progressives to pound pavement for Deval Patrick; as she galvanized minions to get and keep Ayanna Pressley in office; as she practically launched the Elizabeth Warren phenomenon from her living room; even as gubernatorial wannabes practically grovelled for an audience with her.

But you could tell from the start that it was different with Marty Walsh. Linehan, despite being close to several other actual and potential mayoral candidates, was all-in for Walsh from the moment Tom Menino announced he wasn’t running. Walsh was her rep; her friend. She believed in him. He trusted her.

So it was a surprise, but it shouldn’t have been, when Linehan eased away from a spokesperson role to a more substantive, inner-circle position with the campaign; and then when she was given the heady task of overseeing the creation of the candidate’s policy papers—which, by the way, churned out some genuinely interesting and well-considered material, although the campaign never really highlighted much of it.

And it shouldn’t shock us now that—despite her insistence that she would not join the administration—Walsh couldn’t face the job without her, and she couldn’t turn him down. Walsh announced today that Linehan will be his chief of policy.

If you haven’t yet, you should read Jon Garelick’s profile of Linehan in Boston magazine that came out just the other day. And you should also listen to the Pernice Brothers if you’re not familiar with them.

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