Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And now, for something somewhat different!

We'll be back to our feature film, AS THE TDP TURNS, in a day or so, but I'd like to bring things back home for a moment.

Jackson Baker has reported that AC Wharton, with some 30 months to go before the filing deadline, and with just under two years to go in his term as County Mayor, is having a $500-a-pop fundraiser on November 19 at The Racquet Club. I had heard about this Saturday night from another source, but not with this detailed a report.

Mayor Herenton presumably approves of the Wharton candidacy, which should give some of Wharton's supporters at the County level some pause for concern. It has appeared for over a year now that Hizzoner has wanted to anoint his successor, presumably having to do with his legacy.

I'll leave THAT alone for the moment.

It seems that, while everyone expects that Wharton will win handily, I offer my slightly contrarian suggestion that it is not as cut and dried as you might think. No, I'm not necessarily talking about Carol Chumney, either.

What Wharton has now that he didn't have in 2002 is a record on which he may be judged. In 2006, he had minimal opposition and walked over for victory; however, he may face SEVERAL candidates who are less scared of the Wharton mystique than they once might have been.

While I fully expect Carol to run in 2011, barring accident, let's not forget that Councilor Myron Lowery earlier this year was prepared to run if Herenton had resigned, Chumney or no Chumney, Wharton or no Wharton.

Wharton would not have as large a number of white voters in this city race, and it is they as much as black voters who have propelled him to victory in 2002 and 2006. Lowery could seriously cut into Wharton's totals among all voters regardless of race, and Chumney would hurt Wharton among women and older whites. That would leave Wharton with just Herenton's base, and there's no guarantee that he would get all of that, either.

While Wharton's style certain does not have the grating and sometimes infuriating form as Herenton, his record, frankly, hasn't set the world on fire. He has been faced with the fact that Memphis has suffered job losses and increased poverty, which has been beyond his control, just as it has Herenton. However, adversity is when you test the mettle of an executive, and I leave it to you to judge just how successful he has been.

With all that in mind, Wharton may feel that he needs to get out and get a lot of money in order to pre-empt potential candidacies for 2011. However, I'm not at all certain that will work this time.

It's not just the country as a whole looking for change, people, it's right here in River City!


Wintermute said...

I'm not giving AC a free pass to be city mayor. The first time he ran, I made him ask me for my vote, because I perceived he was not comfortable with the process. His strengths are his courtly accent, basic honesty, and brains.

But in the 3-way most imaginable, dollars are not going to equate to votes, because all 3 are well-known and can get their message out.

Carol less so on the second item, because she gave up her bully pulpit in a courageous attempt to rid us of Willie, which she would have done had it not been for the stupidity of Morris and his supporters. But Carol needs more personal warmth, and there's a leopard changing her spots problem there, although I have tried to encourage her this way. Courage, honesty, and sufficient brains are her strengths.

Yes, I have hyped Myron lately, because he is calling out the "brothers and sisters" on the Council when they are wrong. But I am not playing Fratricide. Myron's strengths are his personal warmth (he's certainly the most natural pol of the bunch), courage, sufficient brains, and honesty as well.

So it's not a bad field at all. I'd like to think they're all 3 my friends or at least strong acquaintances. I may restrict my activities to helping each get his/her message out.

Tom Guleff said...

I think we need folks to be more specific about the "change" that best serves Memphis.

Is this adding 1,200 police officers to the ranks?

Keeping class in session for MCS year round ?

What exactly needs to be addressed ?

Wintermute said...

Tom, that goes for state government too.

Why should I care if the Repubs take over the legislature? Reapportion to suit themselves?

The only reason I can think of is their hateful anti-abortionism; but now it looks like Roe will continue to make such efforts fruitless.

Have the people I helped put in there filed bills to legalize or decriminalize drugs besides alcohol and nicotine? Decriminalize marijuana, at least? Medically (at least Cohen had just enough guts to file the last-mentioned)?


Have the people I helped put in there stayed in touch to see what I thought about legislation after they won and gained the auto-pilot benefits of incumbency, so that I should give a damn if their districts get savaged in 2011?


What do Democrats hope to change, or what changes do they pledge to resist? Or is it just been in there forever, I sure do like the 30K/yr. + health insurance and pension, all the party invitations, and the extra consulting work and business opportunities I just coincidentally happen to get offered because I'm a legislator?

Tom Guleff said...


I apologize .....

leftwingcarolinablue said...

Wharton will win and Carol had best realize that her days as a legislator-politician-perpetual candidate are all but over. She can't get a decent percentage of the black vote and her "method-of-being" in public forums doesn't exactly incite confidence and wild-eyed, do or die passionate loyalty among many of the rest of us. Lowery will be painted as he was: a newsman with ambitions to glory rather than A.C.,the "suffering servant" of the people. The County Head may not win 60-40, but he'll pull at least 55 percent.

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