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Joe Biden taps Marty Walsh to lead N.H. economic roundtable

Joe Biden’s campaign is tapping longtime pal Boston Mayor Martin Walsh to lead an economic roundtable with New Hampshire business owners on Friday.

Walsh will host the group of Granite State leaders and small business owners at noon Friday to talk about the first plank of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s “Build Back Better” economic plan, “Made in America,” which focuses on growing domestic manufacturing to create millions of new jobs.

The Biden campaign said in a press release that 111,000 jobs have been lost in New Hampshire since last year, including “thousands” in manufacturing.

The discussion led by Walsh, a longtime union leader, “will focus on Biden’s efforts to rebuild and grow the manufacturing industry in the Granite State and across the nation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Walsh sat out both the New Hampshire and Massachusetts presidential primaries, endorsing neither his old friend nor his state’s senior U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The mayor did, however, host Biden in a visit to the Seaport in June 2019 to talk climate resiliency and tour the park built in honor of Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard.

Mobilizing Walsh now could fuel existing speculation about whether the mayor could get a cabinet position in a Biden administration given his friendship with the former vice president and his background as a labor leader.

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Could Marty Walsh match Joe Biden’s stumbles, mumbles?

Marty Walsh is looking for a lifeboat.

He’d never admit it publicly, but I believe Hizzoner would much prefer not to have to run for a third term next year. The city is in ruins, and you don’t want to go down in the record books as the first mayor to be defeated for re-election since James Michael Curley in 1949.

But lifeboats are hard to come by, and Marty’s basically only got one option — Dementia Joe Biden. He was with Joe back in the dark days after the New Hampshire primary last winter, so he’s kind of owed something.

Secretary of Labor maybe? Given his past career in “da trades,” Marty wouldn’t even have to buy himself a new pinky ring for his swearing in.

So is Marty trying to suck up to his potential future boss? I started wondering about this the other day during a cringe-worthy press conference in which the mayor was as tongue-tied, befuddled and inarticulate as, well, as Joe Biden.

Over the past 72 hours, for instance, Joe Biden has invented two new job classifications — “voter registration physicians” and “pay-care givers.” He’s revealed the existence of a new virus — “COVID-9.” He has announced his proposal for both “elderly childhood education” and a “child clare pan.” And he denounced “Islamic-phobia.”

Hard to match, let alone top that kind of incoherence, but Marty tried his best the other day. He seemed nervous, perhaps because he feared being asked about his new BFF, Monica Cannon-Grant. That Globe poster gal was about to be busted on her racist rants against Rayla Campbell, the GOP candidate for Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s Congressional seat.

Whatever the reason for his discomfort, Marty was channeling Dementia Joe bigtime.

Remember Biden exhorting his followers to text him at “Joe 3-0-3-3-0?”

Marty informed his minions how to stay in touch – “that’s boston dot gov slash b-c-y-f slash dot uh slash summer.”

Which was even more incoherent than the late mayor Mumbles Menino’s plea for stay in touch at “boston-dot-gov-dot.”

Speaking of Mumbles, he used to resent appearing at events with other politicians who might be more, shall we say, articulate. He’d silently seethe and fume at anyone who could speak in complete sentences. At least a few Boston pols taught themselves to dumb down while on stage with Mumbles.

Is Marty trying to … ape Joe Biden, by appearing as lost as his would-be patron? Here’s Marty doing his best Biden:

“We continue to move forward um curiously uh in step one of phase three of the state’s reopening plan — excuse me, cautiously, not curiously. It’s kind of curious too. We’re not sure when this is gonna end so I guess it’s a little bit of both.”

Which is a better fumble recovery than Joe has ever managed during this fight. Although that raises another point — how much does it mean to suck up to Joe six months out from Jan. 20? I mean, Joe has major problems recalling what happened a half-hour ago.

What are the odds Joe remembers anything, period?

Like the vice president, Marty now loses himself in numbers — “uh, 113, 789, uh 113-thousand-789.”

And then there’s Walsh’s tendency to misread prepared statements, mostly because he obviously doesn’t review the notes before he begins reading them for the cameras:

“And if your rent-relief fund, we have a rent-relief fund that continues. … This is the work that we are doing using creative strategies to make public safe — public safer spaces safer during this pandemic … it’s being done with no regards for the rights-a — safety of protesters and it ‘pears to be needlessly escalating situation.”

I’m not familiar with the verb “’pears.” I believe he was trying to say “appears.” This, after Biden last week referred to the police “protecting” the public, only he said “’tecting.”

Let’s return to Joe Biden for a moment, to get a handle on the direction Walsh is moving in. Uncle Joe is talking now about law enforcement.