Today Ray Flynn, former Mayor of Boston and US Ambassador to the Vatican,  joins us with a sobering  remembrance of an era when people stood in lines--long ones--for  local races. He also breaks down  why local races no longer draw swarms of voters.

When I ran for Mayor of Boston, everyone knew who I was. I put the lights up at the basketball courts for the kids. Mel King put up the tennis courts for the kids down there in the south end. We were doing this stuff for years, and years, and years. As a result, we had built up a reputation and a constituency that was well known, even outside our immediate neighborhood.  Today, people don't know who the candidates are. And it's not their fault. When we showed up at City Hall  there were 17 reporters. We had to give reporters a story to chew on.  Now you just put out a press release. Most of the people I know who voted in the '83 election--they don't cling to the Internet. If it's not in The Globe...if it's not in The Herald, it didn't happen.

And as for  Pope Francis, here's what the former U.S. Ambassador  to the Vatican has to say:

This Francis is taking us to a another place and you know what  kind of place it is? It's a place where I feel very comfortable and I think a lot of Catholics feel comfortable there.

Also on today's show: