Sunday, March 15, 2009

While We Were Out...

Go away for a week, and a mayoral candidate drops out. Huh.

It's old news by now, but it's worth touching on here. Rachel Rosenfeld dropped out of the mayor's race last week, just a few weeks after getting in. She never got the chance to knock on a door, print a yard sign, or even get signatures on nomination papers.

On her website, Rosenfeld wrote: "The very simple fact is that I do not have the physical stamina required. While I see very clearly the job that needs to be done, I also see very clearly that I do not have the physical resources to push this tremendous boulder up the hill. To make it through a successful campaign and not survive the elected term would leave the city in worse turmoil."

From the get-go, her health (she's never been shy about her ailments) has been a question. I asked myself in an e-mail interview. Here, in full, is her response: "It is not an issue for the citizens. Just don't smoke near me. I have never failed in a commitment to family, friends, community or synagogue. I have the personal assistance I need for any mobility issues that may arise, my reasoning and intellect are superb, and I don't plan to invade a foreign country or sign up for any cross country hikes. I have as examples Ted Kennedy, JFK, FDR and a close relative Cordell Hull (who had the same familial disease for most of his lifetime), as well as my own mother and grandfather who dealt with this inconvenience for many years. I have the advantage of knowing both my abilities and my limitations and while my abilities will be an asset to the city, the citizens will not be inconvenience in any way by my limitations. My breathing and mobility issues have taught me the value of persistence, objective and goal setting, patience, and priorities. Similarly my financial issues have brought home priority setting and strict fiscal management."

That was posted on Feb. 19. Less than a month later, she's gone.


Certainly, her health, unfortunately, is an issue. Campaigns take a chunk out of anyone. If health is already an issue, why go through that meat grinder? Perhaps the more she thought about it, the more she thought she couldn't win.

If I had to guess, she quickly decided she didn't need the headache. She took a pretty good beating here, but that was nothing compared to the S&E forum, where she was absolutely obliterated very quickly. There were some things that weren't mentioned here that were aired out rather fully (and in some cases, perhaps inaccurately) elsewhere. It was brutal.

Here's the thing. Whether it was here, on her website, or elsewhere, Rosenfeld had made a name for herself. Some people liked her. They thought she was smart, passionate, and right. Some people didn't like her. They thought she shot from the hip, was condecending, and didn't really have any solutions. Apparently, those that didn't like her really didn't like her.

It will be interesting to see what she does next. Will she go back to being everywhere and anywhere in her opinions? Will she pick up the activity at her website, which traditionally has been a little sporadic in updates? Will she reign herself in after what happened over the last three weeks?

It might seem ridiculous to ask all those questions of a Internet-based commenter who was in the mayor's race for all of three weeks. And if a legitimate challenger to Mayor Lisa Wong doesn't bubble up, the questions are probably moot. But Rosenfeld has shown, if nothing else, she's hell bent on getting Wong out of office. If someone rises up to take on Wong, they'll have a cheerleader/hatchetman in Rosenfeld to rely on in some capacity. It's a good bet right now Wong doesn't have that challenger, but if so, Rosenfeld will play some kind of role in the next election.

Labels: , ,