The 1999 campaign season’s favorite prop reemerges this week. It’s the desk. Though Mayor Bill Purcell has managed to escape any real challenge to his Aug. 7 reelection, he’s nevertheless running at least a diluted campaign, and he’s not messing with a tested formula. Starting this week, television viewers will once again see the familiar desk, though this one, different than the supporting surface of four years ago, was his grandfather’s.
The two campaign spots, one meant to highlight his commitment to recruiting new jobs and businesses, try to convey that the self-proclaimed “neighborhood mayor” has kept his promises to protect quality of life, improve schools, reduce crime and make neighborhoods his top priority. Predictably, one uses a kidwhat the spot scripts call the “little mayor.”
“Fact is,” Purcell says in both commercials, “being mayor really isn’t a desk job. We’ve worked together to make Nashville the best place to call home.”
Even Purcell’s former challengers have credited his 1999 campaign, which actually began with low-key but prolific house meetings all across Nashville a full two years before, with being well run, tightly organized and focusednot unlike his first term. Meanwhile, the brilliantly conceived image of the desk in the front yard helped Purcell define the contest as a generational choice, casting him as the fresh, energetic alternative to the tired and largely discredited politics of the past.
Who could blame him for reaching back into that drawer?
Sad but true
State Sen. Jerry Cooper never has been one to be unnecessarily sober when humor would do just as well. In a fund-raising letter he planned to mail to lobbyists this week, he spares the special interest legions the self-righteous rhetoric about what a difference he could make if only they would help him serve again. He took a different tack altogether.
“As you know, I am a typically unselfish, caring kind of political guy,” Cooper writes. “And that is why I’m sending you this important fundraiser letter. You see, it’s not really about meit’s about you. I want to do everything I can to make sure all you important lobbyists can continue to do the fine job you do on Capitol Hill.... Because of my continued concern for your job security, won’t you find it in your heart to support the only politician who gives a hoot whether you live or die? Of course you will. Send all the money you can to....”
Come disclosure time, we’ll see how it worked.
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A gratuitous assertion, Frau Greta. Did the Fuehrer tell you that?
If you really want somebody to know something, you could just tell them.