In many ways, Mayor Marty Walsh has already set himself apart from his 20-year predecessor, the late Tom Menino. Walsh has hired young and embraced data-driven decision-making, even with the occasional misstep. Walsh’s comments regarding 2016 presidential hopeful and human colostomy bag Donald Trump, however, harken back to a role Menino once played: a liberal St. Patrick of sorts, driving Walmart and Chick-fil-A out of Boston.
“I just don’t agree with him at all,” Walsh told the Boston Herald Monday. “I think his comments are inappropriate. And if he wanted to build a hotel here, he’d have to make some apologies to people in this country.” Walsh referred to Trump’s controversial presidential announcement, in which he called Mexican immigrants “rapists.” The remark has cost Trump, by one estimate, more than $50 million.
Here’s the difference, though: Walmart and Chick-fil-A wanted to be in Boston. There’s no indication Trump did.
Trump’s mucus trail has crossed through Boston on several occasions. In 1985, Trump signed Natick’s favorite son, Boston College legend Doug Flutie to a $7 million contract with his New Jersey Generals of the now-defunct United States Football League. In 1989, Trump opened a terminal for his now-defunct airline at Logan International Airport. Less than a week after the Boston Marathon bombings, Trump joked on Twitter about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev applying for Obamacare.
Boston is conspicuously missing from Trump’s real estate portfolio. His Hotel Collection, for example, has luxury, five-star establishments in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Miami, Waikiki, Toronto, and Vancouver, with two new additions sprouting up in Rio de Janeiro—just in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics—and Baku, Azerbaijan, a scrappy underdog in the bidding for the 2024 Games. The band Boston played the Trump Taj Mahal last month, but there’s still no Taj Mahal in Boston, and there likely won’t be for some time.
Trump tried—and failed—to crack into the New England golf market in 2011 by attempting to purchase the cash-strapped Boston Golf Club in Hingham. The mere rumor of Trump’s interest galvanized the club’s members into finding a better solution than doing business with a man who told Fortune magazine last February that we ought to “let golf be elitist” and keep out the poor.
So, by all means, let Walsh make any demand, issue any ultimatum, and call Trump any name. He can invite Trump to the Eire Pub and slug it out in the alley—just as long as we can watch. Just don’t expect Trump to be all that bummed about getting shut out of a city that has only served as a nagging reminder of his failure.
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