Monday, April 09, 2007

Wow, all hell is breaking loose!

Well, we're eleven days from the nominating petitions even being AVAILABLE, and the filing deadline isn't until July 19! Yet, the jockeying for position in the Mayor's race is hot and heavy.

First, we had the polls commissioned by Karl Schledwitz and Richard Fields showing that the Mayor was trailing Carol Chumney. Now, the daily fishwrap has gotten into the act, asking Steve Ethridge to poll Memphians about the race, and guess what? Ethridge finds the same thing, showing my Councilor leading everyone there, too.

Apparently the developers are getting scared again that Carol could win and threaten their empire of sprawl; more than one source has indicated that the Schledwitz poll was intended to scare County Mayor AC Wharton into the race. However, that was before the troubling news that Mayor Wharton's eldest son had been arrested in Knoxville on statutory rape charges.

I really don't believe that Mayor Wharton will make this race, whether Mayor Herenton gets out or not. No, Mayor Wharton's popularity will not be remotely affected by his son's situation, but I can't imagine trying to run for public office while this is happening, just because his head and heart wouldn't be in it.

It's a long freaking way just to the FILING DEADLINE, much less the campaign, but some things are clear:

1) The city is of a consensus: HERENTON MUST GO.

2) For now, before the bloodletting campaign begins, Chumney is the pre-race favorite because of her bulldog-like opposition to Herenton.

3) Nice and unthreatening to the city's power structure as he seems, Herman Morris doesn't seem to be getting any traction with the average citizen.

4) John Willingham, District 2 is calling for you, and you'd better listen; your mayoral campaign only helps one person, and his name is Willie Herenton.

5) Carol still needs to get a plan out there; at some point, people will start to ask, we know who and what you're against, as we are, too, but what will you DO to fix these problems, what are you FOR?

However, we're still a ways off yet from the official start of the campaign, so there's time for all that to shake itself out.


mike said...

Carol's been nosing around the mayoral race for years now but she has yet to give people any sense of what the city would look like after four years of Chumney. You can easily name what she's against but can she tell us what she's for?

She also faces interesting challenges as Mayor. She has a pretty free hand to do things, but will she actually make (or advocate) substantive changes to things like the pension system? When she comes to the City Council to get things done, will she find her former colleagues willing to help or will they use her as a way to "stand up to the Mayor" to raise their own political profiles, in a way they just can't with Herenton? Will she play the patronage games that are par for the course in Memphis to get support from folks? Will she be baffled at why so many folks don't climb on her bandwagon?

BTW, on AC. It's not this time, but four years from now. Mark my words. He's term-limited. His second term expires just in time to start up a race for City mayor. If Carol wins this time, she's a one-term mayor for sure. If Herenton's still around, he's toast.

LeftWingCracker said...

Well, that's part of what I said, she has to put out a plan to repair the problems WWH is leaving the city.

Patronage is not her game, and that's one reason she has as much support, Mike, she's so clean she squeaks.

You make a great point about 2011; if Ruby lets AC run, he would be tough to beat.

mike said...

Patronage is not her game, and that's one reason she has as much support....

Electoral support, yes, but what about political and bureaucratic support? As you note, she won't play that game -- as nearly everyone else does to some degree -- so how will she compensate when trying to build coalitions and support?

I think the answer is in how she's built coalitions and support amongst her City Council peers. Oh, wait....

LeftWingCracker said...

So, you're upset because she's not part of the Good Ole Boy network?

I fully understand that one needs to build coalitions with Councilors if one is going to be Mayor. Let's remember that there are going to be several NEW Councilors, with Carol, Tajuan, Sammons, and Taylor all leaving.

mike said...

Ah... but by new do you mean new to politics or just new to the Council. I fear that some "new old" faces will make an appearance.

What do you make of the CA's mayoral poll that shows Wharton leading? He's not even a candidate, for fuck's sake. Sometimes those guys can be real blockheads.

egalia said...

OT but I wanted to make sure you know about this weekend's Liberal conference in Nashville. Plus there is a progressive blogging workshop. We'd love to have some folks from Memphis! And we still have a spot or two on the blogging panel, if you wanted to be on that, conference admission is free.

egalia said...

Okay, that link didn't work:

OR look up the Tennessee Alliance for Progress.

Tom said...

Whether each of us likes Council member Chumney or not, it seems more than passing strange that while all the news networks were agonizing over Don Imus's stupidity, the news here carried Edmund Ford calling Ms. Chumney a Klan member and a white sheet wearer, and not a word of protest was uttered. If we want to stop this hateful speech, we really need to be consistent in calling out the offenders.