Rumors swirl as Irish American mayor of Boston heads for Iowa

Iowa has long been considered an unofficial starting pointing in the race for the White House, and this week Boston mayor Marty Walsh has several scheduled appearances in the Hawkeye state.

“All of a sudden there’s going to be people who know who Mayor Walsh is,” said Dennis Goldford, chair of the political science department at Drake University in Des Moines, of Walsh’s appearance at the Iowa State Fair.

“But you come in, you can meet with people under the radar and you quietly try to build,” he added.

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Walsh has served as the mayor of Boston, Massachusetts since 2014. His parents are from Connemara and Walsh has returned several times to their local village. Along the way he picked up speaking some Irish which his parents spoke.

Walsh is viewed as an old style shoe-leather politician, with street cred among working-class Americans and he has strong links with organized labor. A former alcoholic his rise to Boston mayor has long been considered an inspirational story.

The Irish American politician s reportedly in Iowa to help drum up Democratic support ahead of November’s primaries.

“Sitting on the sidelines, for me, is not going to be enough,” Walsh said in an interview in July while he was stumping in Republican-leaning states Ohio and Indiana.

“I‘m not forgetting about Boston, I’m not forgetting about Massachusetts. But I feel it’s important as a Democrat to help other candidates, cheer on their successes, and push them and try to make a difference.”

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Some others, however, are not convinced that a visit to Iowa automatically means a potential presidential run.

"It's interesting that Marty Walsh would pay a visit to Iowa,” said Dan Kennedy, a Boston-based media and politics critic. “By all accounts, he wants to be mayor of Boston for some time to come.”

“Perhaps he has a future run for governor in the back of his head, but president? Highly unlikely.”

Do you think Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is eyeing a presidential run?