Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mayoral Allegory: Fielding Potter's Questions

Chris Potter, one of my favorite local journalists, deserves answers to some questions deriving from a recent exchange of observations concerning the Pittsburgh mayoral campaign.

I do not argue (or believe) that there is no chance for Harris (right) or Acklin (left)to win. (Just check the Propositions Board.) I believe there is a measurable but small chance, associated primarily with a showstopping scandal featuring the boy mayor. I believe Acklin and Harris have diminished that prospect inexplicably and substantially, however, by (a) splitting the anti-incumbent vote and (b) devoting resources to childish skirmishes that could have been directed toward engaging in the research that could produce a showstopper.

Winning isn't the only thing in elections. Acklin and/or Harris could be building name recognition, enjoying the race, or attempting to attact attention to issues. Acklin's candidacy could be designed as a step toward enabling Republicans to participate in city politics. Either could be a tool of Ravenstahl (knowingly or not). But, at a practical level, I believe they are jockeying to be next in line if Luke Ravenstahl capsizes.

Each seems smart enough to recognize that campaigning for city council president would probably be a better method of pursuing the mayor's office.

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