An enormous crowd of East Boston people came to break bread with Mayor Thomas Menino at his annual breakfast held inside the main ballroom at the Hilton Hotel at Logan Airport Sunday morning.
Crowd estimates varied but at least 500 men, women and children attended the event which was most notable due to the energy one felt inside the room.
Sunday’s crowd was larger and more varied than last year’s. The crowd was a reflection of the changing times in Eastie.
Old, young, newcomers and old-timers, urban pioneers, officials and everyone proud to say they live in Eastie came out to eat breakfast with the mayor.
And the mayor, as usual, did not disappoint.
His appearance at the breakfast Sunday morning was vintage Menino.
He remains the star of everything political in Boston.
From his entrance to his departure, he held the crowd in rapt attention. Without a prepared text, he spoke ad-lib, extemporaneously.
Again, it didn’t particularly matter what exactly he said. What mattered is that he was there and that he paid attention to the people who came to see him. When the breakfast was done, he stayed around, and met one by one with as many as 100 residents who lined up to chat with the mayor.
He talked with every one of them and thanked them all for coming.
By every measure, Sunday’s breakfast was a tour de force for the mayor.
He sounded strong. He was entirely at ease. He joked about breaking his toe and reminded possible adversaries that a broken toe didn’t mean anything else was at risk but his toe until it heals.
In all, the Sunday breakfast had the look and the feel of a campaign announcement made in front of an adoring crowd.
But it wasn’t. That will come later it would appear.
The mayor, at this point, is a man thoroughly comfortable in his own skin. He appeals to his constituents as much as they find him a real leadership figure.
There is a great deal of personal understanding going on between those who attended the breakfast and the mayor.
They know him. They trust him. They like him. This is why so many came out to be with him at breakfast Sunday.
It was quite a show, and if you care about your politics, it was one more opportunity to watch a master at work and to come away amazed at his power to persuade and to inspire.