Thursday, February 02, 2006

Timeline of a Fiasco

The good news is that with Rep. Marie St. Fleur's withdrawal from the Lieutenant Governor's race is that this is now a short-term story. Had she stayed in the race, her financial troubles would have become a campaign issue and would almost certainly have harmed Reilly. Yes, the whole thing was a horrible fiasco (Fleurasco?) but it was over relatively quickly and it will likely be a footnote come September and November. After all, who remembers Harriet Miers anymore?

Even if the news itself has a short shelf life, that's not to say it doesn't have implications for the Reilly campaign and whether we can expect them to manage important events like this. Let's remember, while this was a four-day story, it had been in the works for months -- it just happened to fall apart in the past couple of days. Here's a timeline of what we know about Reilly's quest for a Lieutenant, cribbed heavily from DFA Cambridge:

Mid-October: Aides to Tom Reilly leak that he plans to pick his Lieutenant Governor.
Early-December: Rumors begin that Tom Reilly is intends to name Chris Gabrieli as his running mate.
Last Thursday: Rumors intensify that Reilly is going to tap Gabrieli as his running mate.
Friday: The Globe reports on those rumors. Marie St. Fleur's name is also mentioned, but she denies it, saying she supports LG candidate Deb Goldberg.
Sunday: The Globe reports a 10 AM Monday press conference where Reilly will announce the Gabrieli pick.
Monday morning: Gabrieli announces he's not running for LG and that reports on an offer in the media were overblown.
Monday evening: Reilly announces that he's picked Rep. Marie St. Fleur (D-Dorchester) as his running mate.
Wednesday morning: Boston Globe reports on St. Fleur's various tax and other financial difficulties.
Wednesday afternoon: Marie St. Fleur pulls out.

Today's Boston Globe has more, including the claim that Reilly didn't consult some of his key advisors before making the switch to St. Fleur.

How in the world Reilly could bungle something so badly that he's been working on since October? I said this yesterday, echoing what Brian McGrory wrote in his Tuesday column. I really want to like Tom Reilly. He's practically a neighbor. A lot of people I respect are enamored of him. At the same time, he's making it really hard for me to have a lot of confidence in his ability to manage a campaign, let alone an entire state.