Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Smart, Very Smart

My most recent entry was critical of Bill Peduto. He has really earned my respect with his decision not to run against Luke Ravenstahl for mayor. Politically, it was a brilliant move and should serve him well in the future.

His actions should serve as a response to his critics. He is viewed as not being a party guy. Whoops let's rephrase that. Word is that Bill likes to party, just not with THE PARTY. Old line Committee people reward loyalty. They reward candidates who fall on the sword when they are not endorsed. If you decide not to run against an endorsed candidate you will get lots of support the next time you ask for an endorsement.

Critics say that Bill has a history of negative campaigning. At this point the only strategy he had if he remained in the race was to run a negative campaign. The opportunity was right in front of him. Luke accepted a boondoggle from a billionaire who just got a sweet deal from the state, county and city on a new arena. Luke's response to questions about this trip was less than straight forward. Bill had his opening. In commenting on his role in running a negative campaign for Cohen, he said he has learned from his mistake. He vowed not to run a negative campaign. Although he started to take some small pot shots, when the big opportunity was in front of him he did an incredibly honorable thing. He kept his word. He stepped back and not only didn't take shots, he made the ultimate sacrifice. He dropped out of the race rather than become ugly.

Bill had to know that after the arena/Penguin deal was done his chances of winning were slim and none. He also knows that fumigating the mess left from Murphy and then O'Conner in a half a term is almost impossible. It will also be impossible for him to raise enough money to run a meaningful campaign against Luke. Some of Bill's biggest contributors from his last bid already had jumped ship to Luke. You can't win these days without a war chest. If, as Bill and his supporters believe, Luke fails as mayor, Peduto will have a much stronger chance of winning next time. Instead of running as a two time loser. He can run as an honorable candidate on a "told you so" platform.

Should Bill not have the stomach for another run at the mayor's office, he clearly has political ambitions beyond City Council. Should he decide to run in the future for State Rep, State Senate or even Congress his actions today will be remembered. The party types should reward him for stepping aside for the endorsed candidate. The public should remember him as one candidate who really took the high road.

Now is the time for Luke to do the unexpected. I would like to see him offer Bill a prominent role in his administration. The city could be totally unified, and enjoy Luke's leadership and Bill's analytical and well thought out ideas.

7 comments:

Mark Rauterkus said...

I'm with you until the very end. Luke doesn't need to offer Bill a role in the administration.

Bill has a prominent role on city council.

Luke does need to get into gear and make "serious progress" on the "right direction" and such. Can you come up with another idea for Luke's next step? Do you think Luke should have Bill over for a sleep over?

My point is that the goal of a 'unified' team is not a sure pathway to success for the city and the region. They've been bucking for 9-0 votes for far too long.

The lockstep boosterism and unity crap has taken the city over the edge. All the king's horses and all the king's men won't put the city together again. The real unity that needs to unfold is with the residents.

Jonathan Potts said...

So does that mean every candidate, in any race, who doesn't get the endorsement of the Democratic committee should drop out and wait their turn?

There's a word for that, and it sure as hell ain't democracy.

Shawn said...

If anyone thinks anything remotely approaching magnanimity will result from this turn of events, I have to start wondering what planet I'M on......

The truth is....

When Bill returns to Council, Luke's got problems on his hands...

And although my beef with Bill is that his exit will light the way for the third of the electorate who now have no reason to get out of bed in May might just deprive some erstwhile Council candidates and judicial candidates the votes THEY need to beat the incumbents they've chosen to buck the party and run against.

I'm a birth-to-death Democrat, but that doesn't mean our party is always right.......

And 70 years of uninterrupted Democratic rule hasn't transformed Pittsburgh into some utopian mecca (at least not by capitalist standards).

All I'm saying is We don't know what motivated Bill to do this. I'll gladly give him the benefit of the doubt because all I can tell you about Bill is what I know from knowing him for the last three years: He is an honorable, frugal, decent public servant who will help you if you ask him to, and sometimes even when you don't. And trust me on that last part.

As for the progressives and their belief that Bill betrayed you, let me say this:

We've all been betrayed, but I assure you Bill didn't do it, and neither did Luke.........

And when you figure out who really screwed us...... I'll expound further!

SMC

Christine said...

Pittsburgh Guy, what do you think of a pro-choice, non-lying, independent of the "d. regan and y. zober machine" candidate ... and I mean female candidate, running against the young mayor as an independent candidate? In light of Petuto circulating nomination petitions as a dem., he would likely be denied a chance to run as an independ. post-primary?

laurelsr said...

Christine
I would love to see a candidate like that as long as she could sell what we need in for Pittsburgh to the County and State. Is Hilary Clinton moving to Pittsburgh? Unfortunately we don't seem to have strong progressive women in city politics now. I would love to see it!

Smitty said...

Good points about the party.Bill made it very clear he didn't want to be divisive.Only time will .

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