Luke Frazza/AFP/Getty

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

“It’s a big day for Boston in the briefing room,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a press conference yesterday introducing two Red Sox fans: former Massachusetts senator and current climate envoy John Kerry, and national climate adviser Gina McCarthy.

“It’s a big day for Boston every day,” McCarthy said, before launching into a speech tinged with the most charming Dorchester accent I’ve ever heard.

As a Massachusetts native, I have a soft spot for the Bay State, and I find those dropped “r”s and broad “a”s particularly endearing. The Boston accent is a dying art form, after all. Since there’s a dearth of authentic Boston accents out there (John Kerry’s weird Brahmin thing does not count), I decided to compile a list of the politicians most likely to ask where they could find a bubbler in the halls of the Capitol.

Paul Tsongas

Paul Tsongas, who served as both a congressman and a senator from Massachusetts, also won the 1992 New Hampshire Democratic primary against Bill Clinton. That could be because of the various scandals dogging Clinton at the time: reports of an alleged extramarital affair with Gennifer Flowers, accusations of his having dodged the Vietnam War draft, and outrage over his refusal, as governor of Arkansas, to stop the execution of a disabled Black man. Or, it could be because Tsongas talked like he just swung by the packie.

Tip O’Neill

Tip O’Neill, a Democrat from Cambridge, was the 47th speaker of the House. And speak he did—exactly the way you’d guess a guy named Tip O’Neill representing Boston would.

Gerry Connolly

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) caught me by surprise when, during the House vote on Trump’s second impeachment, he addressed Nancy Pelosi as “Madam Speakah.” What was a congressman from Virginia doing with a Boston accent?

Well, it turns out there’s a strong Boston contingent in Virginia politics, and they all kept their accents. Lo and behold, Connolly was born in Boston, supports the Patriots and the Sox, and vacations on Cape Cod. And, until 2015, he represented Virginia alongside fellow heavily accented Bostonian Democrat Jim Moran. Who knows, maybe “Dirty Water” was really about the Chesapeake Bay.

John Kelly

A good accent does not make someone a good person. John Kelly is many things: Trump’s former chief of staff, Trump’s former Homeland Security secretary, retired Marine Corp general, Bostonian. His accent is subtle, but it’s there. Here he is talking about North Korea just as easily as if he were talking about the North End.

Marty Walsh

Boston’s mayor is required by law to have a wicked good Boston accent, and the successor to the larger-than-life Mayor Menino had big shoes to fill. Luckily, your new Secretary of Labor—and the star of one of last year’s best films, City Hall—can’t even spit out his own name (Mahty) without giving away his place of birth.

Ed Markey

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) famously wove his own Boston accent into a Senate primary campaign video that took down Joe Kennedy III. The ad, featuring Nine Inch Nails’ covers of “Old Town Road” and “All Along the Watchtower,” flipped the famous JFK quote on its head and brought Markey’s Boston accent to new memeable heights. Listen in particular to the way he says, “are,” “organize,” and “arms.” Kennedy, descended from the most famous Boston Brahmin family in history, had nothing on this Malden-raised milkman’s son.

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate