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November 3, 2012

Talk of the Times: Politically active tot a 'chip off the old block'

Talk of the Times

A little politics slips into just about everybody’s blood this time of the year, especially with the national election cycle.

But a 16-month-old girl?

Well, it can be when political genes are in the family, and that may have been the case recently when Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, accompanied on a campaign stop in Gloucester by state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, received a special gift from a Gloucester tot named Lillian DiMercurio.

Little Lillian, age 16 months, joined by family members meeting Warren, gave the candidate a “Big Bird” toy, a play on Mitt Romney’s and other Republicans’ call to cut spending by scaling back or dropping the funding for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and thus Big Bird’s home on “Sesame Street.” And the gesture generated coverage in a number of Boston media outlets.

Little did they likely know that Lillian’s political activism is following a family tradition of its own. She’s the granddaughter of Gloucester City Councilor and four-time local mayor Bruce Tobey, who was on hand as well and played the role of proud grandpa in relaying the story Friday.

“A chip off the old block,” Tobey said with a laugh Friday. “But it really was cute — and it was a lot of fun. It was a great day.”

Fishman makes his mark

He doesn’t have a prayer of winning the race, but Beverly Libertarian candidate Daniel Fishman won a lot of common sense points and more than a few hearts if not votes during the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce’s congressional debate last week at Cruiseport Gloucester.

After Tierney, Tisei and Fishman all exchanged views and then 30-second followup rebuttals on a question about the affordability and future of higher education, Tierney asked Moderator Bob Visnick for more time to respond to one of Tisei’s comments. Visnick said OK, the congressman had five seconds — and Tierney followed with about a 30-second response.

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