Henry Loeb was mayor when I was a teen, developing my political views. In addition to being a racist, Loeb was a narcissistic elitist who put his own ego above the welfare of the City. He made me gravitate towards the Democratic Party. His successor, Wyeth Chandler, was similar in philosophy to Loeb but more laid back. In fact, downtown and much of the rest of the City stagnated under his rein. Dick Hackett came after him. Hackett was a petty and immature micromanager who managed to let Holiday Inn and almost St. Jude go.
While Herenton did well for his first two terms, I believe his own personal character flaws have affected both his administration and the self image of many Memphians. He seems to adopted many of the same characteristics of his last three predecessors, especially Loeb, with similar polarizing effects. The white community is unified against him as was the black community against Loeb. Like Loeb, Herenton has lost many moderates of both races and relies on the race card for support. Like Chandler and Hackett, he has adopted a crony system versus reaching out to talented innovators in Memphis and beyond.
This administration is spent. The only question is when will he be gone - this July or later.