According to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, the jokes were “pretty good today.” For those who attended or watched the 2018 South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast, the mayor’s conclusion is certainly up for debate.
In their monologues, Walsh and several of the state’s top elected officials took aim at everything from President Donald Trump to the MBTA. Returning to its roots at the Ironworkers Local 7 Union Hall, the breakfast’s host, Rep. Stephen Lynch, kicked off the morning by thanking former state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry for hosting the event over the past several years.
“Linda also brought this breakfast to a very high level, from which it will now fall,” Lynch said.
As always, some jokes landed. Others did not. Here are the highlights.
The Massachusetts senator said it was great to see so many people in the audience, especially following the many power outages from the recent nor’easters.
“The blizzard left 240,000 people without electricity,” Warren said. “They had absolutely no power. It was like being a Democrat in the United States Senate.”
After a somewhat muted response, she added,” Yeah, I don’t think that’s funny either.”
Warren said she received some tips ahead of Sunday’s event, which she described as “spring training” for her 2018 reelection.
“Joe Kennedy said ‘Go light on the ChapStick,'” she said. “Charlie Baker said, ‘Just stand next to me. They love me.’ Bill Weld said, ‘Forget talking; let’s just sue Charlie Baker.’ And Stormy Daniels said ‘If you don’t say a word, they’ll pay you $130,000.’”
Warren also took aim former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who now lives in Utah and could soon be her colleague in the Senate.
“Mitt Romney’s feeling was if you can’t win in Massachusetts, move far, far away,” Warren said, before pivoting to her former Senate opponent and longtime favorite punching bag. “Scott Brown said, ‘He’s coming to New Zealand?'”
The senator finished her monologue by reading what she said were questions from residents, using it to rib one fellow ascendant Massachusetts Democrat who was not in the room Sunday.
“Senator Warren, why don’t you just quit, resign now, and open up the seat for a new, young breed of Democrat,” Warren read, grimacing at the letter. “Wow, that was a little harsh. But still, I always appreciate hearing from Seth Moulton.”
She also offered advice for future aspiring presidential candidates, advising that he need to capture the “essence” of Trump. With the help of some props Warren showed it’s “surprisingly easy.”
Markey, the other half of the state’s Senate representation, riffed off Trump’s planned military parade in Washington, D.C.
“There won’t be any tanks in the parade today,” he said. “In Washington, they don’t want the tanks damaging the condition of the roads. In Southie, they don’t want the condition of the roads damaging the tanks.”
“We haven’t seen a public figure humiliated and sidelined like that since Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl,” he said, later adding. “Today is Evacuation Day in here Boston, but in the White House every day is Evacuation Day.”
After taking some ribbing over his buzzcut, the Massachusetts governor explained that he got it during a recent cancer fundraiser next to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
“A whole bunch of people asked what it was like to sit next to Tom Brady,” Baker said. “I said it’s like being invisible.”
Baker joked that the woman who cut his hair was distracted by the quarterback’s presence.
“I’m going ‘My God, this is getting short,'” Baker said. “She was like, ‘Shut up, he’s right there.'”
The Republican governor asked for a selfie with Warren, whose rumored ambition to run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination was subject to teasing throughout the event.
“I don’t know if it helps or hurts either one of us but it’s going to create a heck of a lot of confusion,” he said.
The Massachusetts attorney general said that Lynch and City Councilor Michael Flaherty were doing a great job as co-hosts of the breakfast, but added that they would miss Forry, who left the Massachusetts Senate for a private sector job.
“There was some controversy a few years ago when Linda took over,” Healey said. “Remember that? Some were saying she maybe wasn’t Irish enough. Remember that? I don’t think we can honestly question that now. Look at how she ran after that pot of gold.”
Healey also brought out fake political signs, mocking Baker and the three Democrats challenging him in this year’s election. Running for re-election herself, the attorney general even revealed her own campaign signs.
“I wanted to get a little bit of feedback from you all this morning, see what you think,” she said, pulling out a “Maura Healey for Governor 2022” sign.
“Oh whoops, wrong one,” she added.
Neither Democrats nor the Republican sitting to his left was spared by Walsh’s routine. The mayor noted how “a robot” recently predicted that Boston would be chosen as the site of Amazon’s sought-after second headquarters.
“A robot,” Walsh emphasized. “I might call Governor Baker a lot of things, but that’s a little harsh.”
However, the joke that got perhaps the most applause came at Walsh’s expense and was delivered by David Falvey, the head of South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which runs the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade. The parade had its route shortened again this year by Walsh due to the recent snow storms. Referring to the recent Patriots departures this offseason, Falvey nominated the mayor as a potential fill-in.
“I think to myself, ‘How are the Patriots going to replace guys like that?'” Falvey said. I just don’t know. I was thinking about it and I said you know who the Patriots should sign, especially to replace Danny Amendola? Mayor Walsh, because he specializes in running short routes.