Politics & Prejudices
Postcards from the ruins
Rush of referendums is bad news for representative government
Published: May 2, 2012
Duggan himself is said to believe he could be elected mayor. If this is so, I would be surprised; he always was a good bit smarter than that. A shadowy figure to most voters, despite a stint as Wayne County prosecutor, Duggan grew up in the Wayne County political machine run by Boss Ed McNamara.
Insiders always said Duggan was the machine's smartest cog, one who took care that nothing stuck to him. Though nominally a Democrat, he managed to orchestrate things so that his good buddy, former Attorney General Mike Cox, a Republican, had no serious opposition when he ran for re-election six years ago.
Duggan would be a reasonable candidate for Wayne County executive if and when the pathetic Bob Ficano is shamed into resigning, or is hauled away by some arm of law enforcement.
He may even be a possible candidate for Detroit emergency manager, if things come to that, though again it is hard to believe the governor would name a paleface. So now hear this: Duggan's chances of being elected mayor are not much better than my being chosen Denby High School homecoming queen.
Other than for reasons of sheer ego, it also isn't clear why Duggan would want the job, unless he genuinely believes he can "fix" the city. All this reminds me of a conversation I had with the sainted Geoffrey Fieger years ago, when he told me he, too, was thinking about running for Mayor of the D. "Brilliant idea," said I.
"There are only three things wrong with it. First, you don't live there. Second, black voters aren't going to accept a white mayor."
"I can buy a house anywhere," he said, which was certainly true. Fieger also believed black voters would back him, thanks to his defending many of them in high-profile cases. I told him I still disagreed, but added that the third problem was far greater still.
"I might be dead wrong," I said. "You might win. And then what the hell would you do?" Fieger admitted I might have a point.
Just what Duggan thinks he would do isn't clear. Perhaps he has some idea of being provincial governor of Emperor Snyder's Great East Michigan Co-Prosperity Zone. In any event — we'll see.
Jack Lessenberry opines weekly for Metro Times. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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