For as long as Malcolm Butler plays football — and long after in New England — he’ll be known for one catch in the early days of his career. Just like that cheesy shampoo commercial that used the tagline “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” Butler rookie year — and perhaps his career — is defined. His interception will take its place next to Dave Roberts’ steal in the “how we won it when we almost lost it” file of wicked awesome plays here in New England.
That first impression matters even more in politics than sports. Dustin Pedroia bounced back rather nicely from the rough start he had his rookie season (even though we all still remember his .172 batting average through April of that year) but politicians are so often measured by a less than stellar performance early on in their terms. I’ll go on record as predicting a rough term for Mayor Bill de Blasio.
I know I have a bit of a bias, but I was truly impressed with how Governor Raimondo handled the blizzard known as Juno. From the constant communication with the public, to a well coordinated effort among cabinet members, her handling of the storm met every expectation I had from seeing how previous governors handled storm preparation and aftermath. But like Malcolm Butler — whose real job is to break up plays, not intercept winning touchdowns — Governor Raimondo went above and beyond to do two things that I’d not seen state leadership do before: coordinate seamlessly with our bordering states and provide regular communications specifically to the business community. For those of us who have long believed that governing is “women’s work” it was especially gratifying to see our first female governor excel in this part of her role.
While the average career of an NFL cornerback is a little under 3 years, elected officials are around far longer. Malcolm Butler may have just had the highlight of his career, but I think we can expect Governor Raimondo to exceed expectations far into the future.