First, let’s look at Peter Carlisle, the incumbant.
The guy on the left.
If one stops and thinks for a minute, it’s hard to remember any of his TV ads that have been buried in the clutter of all the politics.
Tha’s because he hasn’t run many.
Carlisle has been a disappointment to many, stacking his administration with lawyers and leftover Hannemann appointees.
True, Carlisle is only finishing the final two years of Hannemann’s second term before Mufi bailed to run for governor (and lost).
If you want to get something done and make your mark you don’t have much time to break in a new cabinet, it’s tempting to work with the one that’s already there.
The trouble with this is the new Mayor isn’t putting his stamp, his vision, on his administration.
What he got was people who knew how to run a department but no one that was there because they supported the man and his vision for the city.
They’re just hanging on to their jobs, marking time and trying to stay out of trouble.
Politics is a risk-adverse business.
No matter what you do someone will be upset and if they are loud enough it’ll work its way to the 6 o’clock news.
But innovation requires risk, dreaming and support to make happen.
None of these exist in a caretaker cabinet – and it shows.
Like the lack of memorable TV ads.
He has run some, but not many.
Once again, Carlisle is getting poor advice or ignoring good advice.
The end result is the same.
One ends up with a sense he’s figured out he’s a better lawyer than politician and his heart isn’t in it.
This election is really about the other two candidates – and how you feel about rail.
Kirk Caldwell, former Managing Director under Mufi Hannemann, is pro-rail.
He’s also the one in the middle.
That’s not a political statement – it’s just where he ended up when we put that graphic together.
Ben Cayetano, former Governor, is against it.
Caldwell has the support of the unions because they see jobs.
But Caldwell has hurt himself by not speaking out against Pacific Resources Partnership, whose PAC has run scathing and highly inaccurate ads against Cayetano.
Caldwell – by law – cannot coordinate with that group, but he can take a public stand against the shibai that’s coming from them daily.
The silence has been deafening.
Why should he?
After all, the PAC is doing the dirty work for him.
We are tainted by what we refuse to speak against.
Still, he supports rail and he’ll get the union vote and the ballot box support from those who think rail is a good thing.
Ben Cayetano is running his whole campaign on stopping the planned rail construction.
He’s on the right side of the picture.
A one issue candidacy is a dangerous thing because those who don’t agree with you will vote for the other guy.
Saying there’s other things to like about him is impossible, because there’s nothing else he’s talking about.
Telling people he’ll use the money to fix the roads and parks is also shibai.
The money, by law, is for the rail system construction and cannot be used on anything else.
Let’s be blunt: his recent hospitalization for a couple of days is worth some sympathy votes.
It won’t make a difference.
Rail rules everything.
This is a toss-up between Caldwell and Cayetano.
Carlisle will go into the history books like Eileen Anderson in the 80′s.
His name will be there with an asterisk.
*didn’t do much of anything