Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Shocked, Shocked I am

The Flyer reported last week (somehow I overlooked it) and The Commercial Appeal is reporting today that Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton is about to announce that he will seek the office of Mayor of the City of Memphis in 2011, if Mayor Herenton does not run for re-election, which I doubt he will if he knows Wharton would likely replace him; hell, it could come sooner than that.

Gee, who could have seen THAT coming, eh? I believe this is known as attempting to scare off the potential opposition, such as Carol Chumney, Myron Lowery, Thomas Long, etc.

But what if they say the hell with it and challenge Wharton anyway? Remember that part of Wharton's strength in running for County Mayor is that Republicans crossed over to vote for him, and there aren't as many of them in the City as the County, to be sure. Also, in the City, it's not inconceivable to think that Lowery and/or Long could take African-American votes from Wharton, while Chumney (Lowery and/or Long, too, for that matter) could take white votes away from him as well.

It could be that people might just think 8 years as mayor of Shelby County was enough for the likable Wharton, who will likely have a sizable financial advantage in this race. Or not.

It will be interesting to see if everyone runs away in fear, or they respond like Myron Lowery.

You may remember that he told Jackson Baker and I earlier this year that if Willie Herenton resigned, he would run for City Mayor, AC Wharton or no AC Wharton, Carol Chumney or no Carol Chumney. Doesn't sound like a frightened man to me, does he to you?

And, folks, if you think a little thing like Wharton entering the race would scare off Carol, then you've obviously not been paying attention or just moved to town. This is going to be a VERY interesting race, and we're three years away, and counting.


Michael Roy Hollihan said...

Do you think Thomas Long will run? What can you tell us about him? I heard him speak at a Dutch Treat Luncheon and his off-the-cuff knowledge of numbers and figures for the Clerk's office was truly impressive.

I've been told (by those who supposedly know) that Kevin Kane is going to run.

And yeah, Lowery's a shoo-in to run. I think he or Long might make good mayors. But other than stabilising the ship a bit, and making a good PR image, what has Wharton really turned around for the County? He's failed in Nashville; he hasn't found new revenues; he's still got the budget on the edge of danger; the County debt is still growing. Sprawl is still going on.

Other than the new home moratorium and some 'green/sustainable' initiatives, what's he really accomplished? Can he really turn *anything* around in the much more contentious city? A good opponent could get past his polished "aw shucks" image and savage him.

As for Chumney? She will make her Don Quixote run and then be baffled yet again as to why she just can't seem to win. (Read her piece for the Main Street Journal!) She's a technocrat and a critic, a tender of details, not a leader. She needs to realise that and get back on the City Council.

Tom Guleff said...

I agree with Mike.

However, my belief is that if someone came out with a bold vision and a few concrete ideas about changing Memphis, that person could gain a little traction. Not sure it would be enough to tip the "apple cart".

In the end, AC knows Memphis politics which makes him the favorite.

ContrAltoDelete said...

This story makes the six or so Memphis city charter amendments on the ballot all the more important--instant runoff voting, ethics provisions, term limits, etc. Whoever becomes mayor needs to win with a meaningful percentage of the electorate, to know in advance how many terms of service they'll have, and what will happen if they mess up ethically.

leftwingcarolinablue said...

Unless carol gets a personality transplant between now and 2011, she's going to lose yet again. Incidentally, what does she mean by "effecencies?" That's the sort of vague term that looks good on paper, but leaves a whole lot of room for the AC's of the world to ram right through.