Globe: No Problem with Walsh’s Koh Dependency

According to today’s Boston Globe, Mayor-elect Marty Walsh has named a “relative political outsider” who is “relatively young” as his City Hall wingman – and that’s all good.

Walsh announces his chief of staff

Andover native, 29, has worked in politics, at Huffington Post

Boston Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh on Saturday named Daniel Arrigg Koh, currently the general manager of Huffington Post Live, handout_koh_metas his chief of staff — the first major appointment in the administration that takes over control of the city on Monday.

“I’m excited to have Daniel joining our administration and bring a fresh, new energy to the mayor’s office,” Walsh said in a statement issued Saturday afternoon. “He has broad experience about City Hall and a deep understanding of managing a large, fast-paced organization. We have great talent joining us, and I know Daniel will help me transform the way we do things in Boston.”

 

And nary a discouraging word after that.

Not so fast, says crosstown rival Boston Herald on today’s front page.

 

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 11.58.12 AM

 

Inside, the feisty local tabloid elaborates.

Walsh names neophyte to key position

Some say mayor-elect taking a risk

Picking a 29-year-old political unknown as chief of staff is a bold, unexpected move and a sign that Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh’s 010414Walshjm03administration is shaping up to take a new direction in City Hall — although the hire also is not without risks, experts said.

Daniel Arrigg Koh — an Andover native who last worked as general manager of HuffPost Live and a former adviser through Harvard’s Leadership Fellow Program for Mayor Thomas M. Menino — represents a young, intelligent hire with an impeccable resume, said John Nucci, Suffolk University vice president for government affairs.

 

Or maybe this . . .

Daniel Koh might be too young and too green to navigate the pitfalls of City Hall politics effectively, said Thomas J. Whalen, a Boston University social science professor. Walsh should have compensated for his own inexperience in City Hall by hiring someone well-versed in the political landscape, he said.

“This is a huge job. You think you would have someone who is older, more experienced and more connected,” Whalen said, adding that Koh will have to tangle with the city’s union leaders. “You’ll need a tough guy who can knock heads together. Will they respect someone 29 years old?”

 

Well, we know at least one person who doesn’t.

Leave it, as usual, to Herald graybeard Peter Gelzinis to provide some historical perspective in a piece headlined Koh may be right-hand man, but not clear he’ll be a heavyweight.

In his fifth and final go-round as mayor, Tom Menino looked across the river to Harvard and installed whiz-kid Mitch Weiss as his chief of staff. A beloved old pol craved new blood. And yet the man he trusted to handle the day-to-day life blood of politics was an up-from-the-streets-Southie native, Michael Kineavy.

It was a kind of schizophrenia that just about everyone in City Hall came to understand. “Kineavy was the get-it-done on the ground guy,” one longtime veteran said. “He was the guy that made government work in a way everyone understood.

 

The Herald covered a lot of bases on this story. Presumably, the Globe will play some catch-up tomorrow.

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