After Marty Walsh won the Boston Mayor's race on Tuesday, Marty Walsh got a call from the vice president. The two Marty Walshes, however, were not the same man.
A quick item the Cape Cod Times provided the outline of the story, which we deem the Bideniest story of November 2013.
A White House operator phoned Walsh after the race was called for the other Walsh to set up a call with the president, and Walsh, who was watching the returns at home on television, had to explain that they had the wrong Marty.
Then the phone rang again, and it was Biden himself on the phone.
The Atlantic Wire spoke with the non-winning Marty Walsh by phone on Wednesday. That Marty Walsh is a political consultant who once worked for late Sen. Ted Kennedy, perhaps explaining why he's in everyone's Rolodex. And the name, he told us, isn't unusual. "Marty Walsh in Boston is probably like John Smith anywhere else," he said. "Boston's a small town politically, too, so lots of times I'll get calls or [mayor-elect] Marty will get calls." After the White House called, Walsh figured he might get a call back for the winning Walsh's number. "I joked to my wife, wouldn't it be funny if the White House called?"
And then: "Marty, you son of a gun, you pulled it off," Biden told Walsh as soon as he picked up. Walsh was "kind of stunned," but recovered quickly. "Mr. Vice President, you called Marty Walsh — but the wrong Marty Walsh." Amusingly, Biden double-checked the phone number, and then declared it a success regardless: "I'm talking to a Marty Walsh in Boston." The non-winning Walsh gave Biden the right number, which Biden wrote down, and that was it. Small-town politics being what they are, Walsh texted Walsh to give him a heads up to expect a call.
It wasn't only Biden that made the mistake. Walsh says he also got calls from the mayor of Minneapolis and the Democratic National Committee. The latter left a message offering its congratulations. Walsh didn't bother calling back.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.