I wasn’t trying to be mean to Jan Drago in writing yesterday about her less than exciting public speaking performance. Not every politician is great a public speaker, just like not every talk radio host wields Dave Ross’s mellifluous baritone. Given her inability to differentiate herself from Mayor Greg Nickels on values and issues, I just don’t think she has what it takes defeat the incumbent, and, well, I calls ’em as I sees ’em.
But rather than hearing from angry Drago supporters, the most defensive comment in the thread came from Mike McGinn booster Craig, who objected to my focus on Drago and mention of Joe Mallahan while ignoring the McGinn campaign entirely:
On the other hand, Michael McGinn has stood up and challenged the political status quo (NO tunnel!), has dedicated his life to our City and his beliefs (fighting RTID, leading the Green Legacy Coalition to develop and pass last years Parks levy, serving as the local Sierra Club leader, founding Great City and serving on numerous City boards, commissions and oversight groups), has a vision for our city and understands what it takes to get it done (better schools, improved transit service and technology infrastructure), and, most importantly, has a fast-growing base of dedicated volunteers (what really wins elections). He’s also got the whole “smart, articulate and positive thing going” as well.
Let’s start talking about the real buzz in this year’s campaign, Michael McGinn.
Okay Craig, if you insist, let’s talk about the “real buzz” surrounding McGinn, which unfortunately for him has so far centered around his anemic campaigning.
Yeah, sure, whatever buzz Mallahan has (if any) is entirely self-financed, but if McGinn has all this organizing experience and grassroots support working for him, why hasn’t he translated it into a little do-re-mi of his own? By my estimates McGinn has raised a little more than $30,000 from less than 150 contributors, a pretty pathetic total after three months of campaigning.
No, politics isn’t all about the money, nor should it be, but fundraising can be a useful measure of both a candidate’s political competency and support. And what does it say about a challenger who made his mark as a leader in the environmental community when most of the major environmental endorsements are going to his opponent?
Successfully running for office, especially against an entrenched incumbent, is a near full time job, yet the last couple times I saw McGinn, he was just out riding his bike. Not doorbelling, not fundraising, not working the crowd, just out enjoying the sunshine and riding his bike. Good for him, I suppose. It’s a healthy passtime. But with that kinda political work ethic, I don’t think that’s a buzz you hear coming from his campaign, Craig, but rather the hiss of the air slowly escaping from McGinn’s political tires.
Again, I’ve got nothing against the guy. I just calls ’em as I sees ’em.