Marty Walsh’s Recovery Community Support Gets a New York Times Spotlight

A story in Wednesday's paper focuses on his relationship with the city's former addicts.

As is befitting an international paper with a lot of interests, the New York Times only occasionally dips into the Boston mayoral race when it finds things particularly compelling. Today, for instance, it has cast its very large spotlight on Marty Walsh’s history of addiction and his support in the city’s recovery community. It’s an aspect of the campaign that those of us who live here and have followed it know well, made approachable for those who don’t.

The Times‘s Katharine Seelye writes that while many politicians have feared honesty about drug and alcohol addiction, others have followed the model of George W. Bush in embracing it as part of a larger narrative of redemption. Rather than a blotch on the candidate’s record, it can become an admirable aspect to a candidate’s story. Walsh’s honesty about his own low points and his support for other addicts through the years have also given him an army of people ready to work for his candidacy, as well as opportunities for some very sympathetic press. You can’t pay enough for testimonials like this one, for instance:

One night 10 years ago, a cocaine and whiskey addict named James Taylor was thrown out of a detox center after assaulting a woman. It was below zero and he had nowhere to go, so he slipped into Boston Medical Center to get warm. There, by chance, he met Mr. Walsh, who was helping another addict. Mr. Walsh made a quick phone call and got Mr. Taylor into a halfway house. Later, he helped him find a job.

“This guy didn’t know me from Adam, and he embraced me,” Mr. Taylor, 61, said …

The power of that narrative is probably why Taylor introduced Walsh at his campaign kickoff. Now, he’s been given an even bigger stage to advocate for his candidate.