One Pair of Matching Candidates 3

People of a certain age may remember the lyrics to the Patty Duke Show which aired from September 1963 to May 1966.  (If you’re not of a certain age, you know how to find it.)   It featured identical cousins with vastly different backgrounds, both played by Patty Duke, who came to live together and had many adventures when they posed as one another.

The catchy theme song came to my mind  and has been replaying ever since, as I thought about how to distinguish Boston’s two mayoral candidates, John Connolly and Marty Walsh.

The closing stanza of the song is the one that I keep hearing:

Still, they’re cousins,
Identical cousins and you’ll find,
They laugh alike, they walk alike,
At times they even talk alike —

You can lose your mind,
When cousins are two of a kind.

Am I losing my mind or are John Connolly and Marty Walsh not two-of-a-kind candidates?  Both are Democrats with similar views on many issues.  Would that they were ideological opposites if, for example, we had a mayoral contest with Democrats or Republicans running or if the two Democrats had been further apart ideologically.

(Side bar – My spirit is still dinged and smarting from the fact that we don’t have a candidate of color in the upcoming primary.  Sigh.  Sob.  I have new wounds from seeing three of the candidates of color from the preliminary election line up behind one candidate for this primary.  It’s too bad that they couldn’t have lined up behind each other so that this primary would have had a different candidate list.  I am also disturbed…Gnarl. Roar…that there was such a paltry turnout for the preliminary among all voters and especially voters of color.  I think that if we don’t have at least 50% of the populace vote in a local election, we ought to keep the current mayor in and try again.  How people can be so passive about voting is beyond me given the fact that all over the world and within our own country, people have died in pursuit of voting rights and that people in power try to suppress voting to this very day.  Sigh. Gulp.)

The Patty Duke Show lyrics go on to say:

But they’re cousins,
Identical cousins all the way.
One pair of matching bookends,
Different as night and day.

John Connolly and Marty Walsh are culturally, ethnically and physically similar.  I am trying to find the essential differences and so am going to events to see the candidates up close and personal in real time (as opposed to just televised debates).  I have friends and acquaintances who are supporting both candidates but their endorsements aren’t enough for me. 

The similarity to the “twin” cousins of the Patty Duke Show continues with John (Cathy) being more urbane – having a law degree, residence in West Roxbury, and being married with 3 children, and  Marty (Patty) being more gritty – union organizer, recovering alcoholic, sharing his life with his long-term partner and her child.

Back to the lyrics:

Where Cathy adores a minuet,
The Ballet Russes, and crepe suzette,
Our Patty loves to rock and roll,
A hot dog makes her lose control —
What a wild duet!

Who will lead the city the best?  I’m still figuring that out for myself. 


The Patty Duke Show theme song was written by Sidney (Sid) Ramin and Robert (Bob) Wells.  It was sung by a 5-voice vocal group called The Skip Jacks.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Singing the Wrong Lyrics

Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Voting & Reverend Eugene Rivers

Sufferin’ Succotach: The MA Senatorial Election Debacle

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About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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3 thoughts on “One Pair of Matching Candidates

  • Jim

    They do seem to be cut from the same political cloth and perhaps John is every bit the man that Marty is, but Marty’s ability to recover from alcoholism and his dedication to others in need are sure evidence of a man with inner strength and commitment to people in need. He is going to get my vote on that basis alone, perhaps not a point of differentiation, John might be all of that too, but at least proof positive that Marty Walsh is a man of courage, determination, humility and humanity.