Tufts Grad Hosts Boston's Famous Roast
Massachusetts State Senator Jack Hart presided over Boston’s annual St Patrick’s Day Breakfast, drawing barbs from local politicians and national figures alike. Boston.
Boston [01.01.01] Sporting a green tie, a broad smile and plenty of good humor, Tufts graduate and Massachusetts State Senator Jack Hart took the reigns of Boston's most famous roast on Sunday - the annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast. A "who's-who" of baystate politicians, the event inspired several rounds of jokes aimed at everything from the State House to the White House.
"We have two rules," Hart, a 1991 Tufts graduate, said as he kicked off the event. "The first rule is say nothing bad about the Irish. The second rule is say nothing good about Governor [Mitt] Romney."
A tradition for decades, the roast draws many of the state's biggest political figures. "The gathering was attended by more than 400 people, including Romney, Attorney General Thomas Reilly, House Speaker Thomas Finneran, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and many other top city and state politicians," reported the Associated Press.
It's also a popular stop for national leaders, particularly during campaign season.
"I know there's a lot of talk about a Massachusetts politician who has his eye on the presidency," President George W. Bush said in a surprise call to the event from the White House. "But tell Mitt it's not open until 2008."
Joking with the president, Hart - a democrat - asked Bush if he needed a new running mate.
"We like Dick Cheney and all," the Tufts graduate joked, "but we'd like for you to take Mitt Romney to Washington, D.C."
Kerry - on vacation from his presidential campaign in Idaho - called in as well, earning a round of applause from the heavily democratic audience as he introduced himself with: "This is the next president of the United States."
Like the president, Kerry was eager to spread his jokes around. He even took aim at himself on several occasions.
"I've been told by a lot of foreign leprechauns that they want me to win," Kerry joked with the crowd, referencing a recent remark he made that set off political fireworks in Washington.
Hart quickly asked: "Can you name them?"
"Not on your life," Kerry laughed back.
Local leaders also got in on the action, taking aim at both men.
"[Boston Mayor Thomas] Menino broke in with the news of a fire at the presidential library in Crawford, Texas," reported the Globe. "‘Both books were lost,' Menino said. ‘The president was extremely disappointed because he hadn't finished coloring one of them.'"
Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey countered with a jab at Kerry and recent rumors that he had cosmetic surgery.
"She held up one photo of the junior Massachusetts senator, saying it was his likeness before receiving much-rumored Botox surgery," reported the AP. "Then she displayed a photo purporting to be Kerry's postoperative self. It was former Massachusetts governor Michael S. Dukakis, who lost in a landslide to the current president's father in the 1988 election."