Boston Mayor Marty Walsh ought to invite French President Francois Hollande to visit Boston when he comes to Washington next month on his first state visit.
It is always exciting to have the French around.
With the help of world peacemaker John Kerry, the secretary of state and a fellow Bostonian, they could give Hollande a personal tour of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan to show the French leader that his government has unfairly stigmatized the neighborhoods as unsafe for French tourists.
To add insult to injury, the French put Boston in the same negative hit list as Cleveland. Cleveland.
The issue arose when the French government advised its citizens who are touring Boston to avoid the three areas at night because of crime. This prompted students at the Codman Academy Charter School in Dorchester, who study French, to seek an explanation from French Consul General Fabien Fieschi. He visited the school last week. Nothing changed, however, and the advisory is still in place.
Fieschi told the students they should not take the matter personally since he would have included Beacon Hill in the advisory if there were a spike in crime there. But everybody knows that Beacon Hill is relatively crime-free, except, of course, for the Statehouse.
Surely, Kerry could make a Hollande visit happen. He has gravitas. Only last week, he was nominated for sainthood by the Boston Globe following a visit to the Vatican. Kerry told the paper in a puff piece that he was an altar boy and would major in religion instead of political science if he could start college again. Even though Kerry did not meet with Pope Francis, the Globe gushed all over the visit, prompting mean-spirited critics to refer to him as Saint John of Kerry.
Ray Flynn, the former Boston mayor who served for five years as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican -- and who never achieved sainthood -- could only have prayed for such coverage. Instead, the paper practically ran him out of Rome.
Kerry was also put forward as a possible Nobel Peace Prize winner -- in a backhanded way, of course -- by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe "Boogy" Ya'alon, following Saint John's 10th visit to Israel seeking peace talks.
Ya'alon, commenting on what he described as Saint John's misplaced "messianic fervor," added, "The only thing that can 'save us' is for John Kerry to win a Nobel Prize and leave us alone."
Saint John deserves the Nobel. He and the pope have used "smart diplomacy" to make peace around the world by paving the way for the Iranians to build a nuclear weapon, which they surely will use on the Israelis -- and on us -- as soon as they can get the thing to work.
And Kerry, who is fluent in French, could also provide some personal diplomatic advice to the French leader over which girlfriend Hollande should bring with him during his official White House state dinner -- Valerie Trierweiler, his companion and France's unofficial first lady, or his new actress girlfriend, Julie Gayet, who conveniently lives around the corner from the presidential Elysee Palace.
It was there that the Paris tabloids caught Hollande reportedly having a secret affair with Gayet. They ran pictures of Hollande being ferried to and from Gayet's apartment on a motorbike. News of the affair sent Trierweiler to the hospital.
One woman apparently out of the running for the star role in Hollande's Washington visit is Segolene Royal, a Socialist political leader, with whom Hollande fathered four children. Hollande, who considers marriage optional, left her to live with Trierweiler who he may be now leaving for Gayet. I told you the French are fun.
So you can understand why Kerry and his mantra of "smart diplomacy" is needed to help solve the burning French question of who Hollande will bring with him to Washington -- Segolene, Valerie or Julie.
Cynics might suggest that Hollande, in a clean break with tradition, could bring all three, even though everybody knows that two is company and three is a crowd. But it would sound better if Kerry told Hollande that in French. It is more diplomatically poetic.
Considering all that is going on, it would probably take a miracle to get Hollande -- and one of his female companions -- to make a side trip to Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury to see for himself what is really going on.
But if anyone can perform that miracle, it is Saint John of Kerry because, when you think about it, his life is a miracle.
Peter Lucas' political column appears Tuesday and Friday. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.