The Globe Kicks Charlotte Golar Richie When She’s Down

The mayoral candidate is having a rough week so far.

It’s been a bad 24 hours or so for Charlotte Golar Richie. But you can’t say she hasn’t deserved it.

Yesterday, Richie held a press conference to announce support of Boston clergy. Only nine ministers showed up, not including many of the most prominent and influential—a humiliating scene for the candidate who started the race as the presumed uniting force for black Bostonians. For crying out loud, Nick Collins got a handful of black ministers to appear at a presser for him.

Then this morning, the Richie camp was treated to a body blow from the Globe, which ranked her 9th in the field—while blessing her Dorchester rival, John Barros, with an endorsement.

It would be easy to dismiss the Globe‘s choice of Barros over Richie in and of itself: the paper made clear its top agenda item is rapid school reform, including a willingness to take on the Boston Teachers Union. (The BTU leadership, incidentally, has moved to endorse Felix Arroyo and Rob Consalvo in the preliminary, according to the Globe.) But the dismissive barely-better-than-Yancey-Clemons-Wyatt write-up suggests a nearly disastrous editorial board performance.

Richie has been a staggering disappointment to those who have followed her for years. A genuine leader in the city and top-notch talent, she has run a terrible campaign and demonstrated a shallow, unsophisticated grasp of the city’s issues and challenges.

I have heard it over and over again from people who have wanted to be supportive of Richie: potential donors and fundraisers, leaders of organizations making endorsement decisions, and community and business leaders. People who have had the opportunity to be in a room with her, to hear her out. They include some who knew Richie and were truly impressed with her, back in her Menino administration days.

I don’t know what to make of it. Maybe the speed with which she had to throw together a full-fledged campaign—after being out of the game for so long—distracted her from thinking through the issues. Perhaps she listened to bad advisors. Maybe she freezes up in those situations. Or, maybe her thinking simply hasn’t kept up with the pace of change in the city over the past 20 years.

Regardless, she is the exact opposite of Barros in the mayoral race. He has gained traction by impressing people in those same kinds of in-the-room encounters as a dynamic young leader with a wide-ranging, complex, and relevant perspective on Boston’s next steps.

Not everyone will be on board with Barros—see BTU, above—but people are impressed with him. Not so much with Richie.