Education in Oakland

Dellums and The Cato Complex

Posted by novometro on April 10, 2007

While he was campaigning last spring and summer, Ron Dellums loved to play the role of the reluctant statesman. It’s a routine as old as Democracy. After conducting the people’s business for many years, the great legislator wants nothing more than to tend to his crops (Or in Dellums’ case the clients of his lobbying firm). If only the people didn’t need him so much. But 100 days into his term as Oakland’s mayor, and one begins to wonder if it wasn’t just an act. Maybe Dellums really would rather be back on the farm.

Both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Oakland Tribune take a look at the mayor’s first 100 days, and they arrive at fairly similar conclusions: The People are underwhelmed. A woman caught by the Chron’s “man on the street” feature said it best when she was asked to rate the mayor’s first 100 days: “”Who? I haven’t seen hide nor hair of the man.”

The Trib story had some startling revelations from Dellums’ press secretary. Chief among them was the news that Dellums was caught off guard by the complexity of City Hall. This was a man who wrangled with the Pentagon when he was chair of the House Armed Services Committee. It’s hard to know what to make of that confession.

The press secretary also admitted to the Trib that Dellums needs to get out more often. Let’s hope her boss agrees. My problem with Dellums so far is one of style over substance. When confronted so frequently by their many bad qualities (vanity, mendacity, greed, and arrogance), it’s easy to overlook a more positive character trait common to politicians. They are an energetic breed. Go visit the state capitol some early morning hour in June when the Legislator is hammering out a budget. You will see overweight, sleep-deprived, middle-aged lawmakers cavorting like cub scouts at a sleepover. While the cynical press corps is falling asleep, there is nowhere else these pols would rather be. They love it.

Oakland doesn’t need a mayor who pretends he didn’t really want the post, it needs a mayor who can at least pretend to love the job.


One Response to “Dellums and The Cato Complex”

  1. Glamour Modeling Agency

    hey cool stuff

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