Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Well, I've been warned ...

Well, I’ve been warned to “quit over analyzing”. Apparently I don’t understand the bottom line.

Naw, I want to say a little more. Bram had a youtube video from the movie “300” on the Comet in honor of Dr DeSantis. I think that is a bit much. Mark DeSantis’ campaign might have worked better at the state or maybe the federal congressional level. DeSantis made a point of emphasizing issues and policies over personality, which plays ok if you are addressing a whole state or at least a larger congressional district. DeSantis did occasionally, perhaps inadvertently, go negative, such as when he talked a couple of times about the Mayor’s lack of humility, and when he called the Mayor’s attack flyers “sad” and what you do when you have nothing left to talk about.

But mostly DeSantis talked relentlessly about the abstract issues, in proposals and in the debates. He certainly had some original ideas and interesting proposals. Mostly they were abstract, though, with no substance for voters to hang on to. No folksy annecdotes to help the message go down easier. The Mayor was equally abstract and vague, but when there is a tie in a political debate, the incumbent generally keeps the votes he started with. DeSantis even acknowledges the importance he placed on the “issues” in this passage from the end of his concession speech:

“This wasn’t about politics.

This was about policy. This was about progress. This was about people. And now, finally, it’s about the promise of a new and better Pittsburgh.

We love this city. And we’re going to continue to believe in it. Just as we’ll continue to believe in the power of taking a chance, in the possibilities of change, and in the always bold and noble purpose of public service. We’re going to continue this work. We’re going to redouble our efforts. And we’re not going to stop until Pittsburgh is once more the best and most prosperous city in America.”

This would have been ok if Mark had been trying to become City Manager or something. But a Mayoral race is about politics, and popularity. Especially in this race, where a republican is trying to win over a bunch of democrats, and scare a bunch of democrats away from the incumbent. If you had violated your principles just to win, we would have forgiven you, offered you absolution. Because the thing is, in politics the principled guy loses (see Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, George McGovern, John McCain et al).

1 comment:

Bram Reichbaum said...

The Comet? "A bit much"? Surely you jest...