For Connolly and Walsh, this is the seventh game of their World Series. Going into the last major event of their campaign, the score is tied. Here's what each has to do–and what they should not do–to win:
"As mayor of the city of Boston I will make sure we do not get to the point of arbitration," Marty Walsh said. He can't escape the union label, so tonight, he should wear it with pride, and not be defensive, as he's sounded in the past.
And Walsh should smile once in a while. Am I imagining it, or does he always look like he's about to get angry?
"Well, I talk so much about being a teacher because it's the most impactful experience in my life," John Connolly said.
Connolly loves to talk about his teaching past, but rarely mentions his career as a lawyer. Tonight he should talk it up, because–if he doesn't–it could bring him down.
And Connolly should also confront all the endorsements Walsh has won. Maybe one endorsement doesn't make a big difference, but a bundle like Walsh's definitely could.
Now the don'ts. Walsh must not be unprepared, or dismiss questions he doesn't like. He needs to be ready to answer anything.
He also needs to ease up on his State House connections. Walsh has been on Beacon Hill since 1997, but what exactly has he done for the city since then?
John Connolly wants to be the education mayor, but the city is much more than just schools. So, tonight, he needs to think bigger.
And Connolly would be making a major mistake to be over-confident, though he has gotten the best of Walsh in previous debates.
The first pitch–sorry, the first question–will be at seven tonight.
So curl up on the same couch you've been watching the World Series on, and turn on the debate.Because it could decide who Boston's next mayor is…and who will soon be leading all the Duck Boat parades in the future.