Nope, Mayor Opie (as John McIntire calls him) did not embarrass himself. He did just fine on Late Night with David Letterman last night.
But for me, the most telling exchange came when Dave said, "Forget Mayor. How does a 26 year-old become President of City Council?"
Much like some of the church domes in Pittsburgh, the answer to that is byzantine, but back to the show...
Mayor Opie declared that his age was inconsequential because he had the experience (You know, that whole entire two and half years in government. Then again when you're only 26, two and a half years does seem like an awfully long time.)
Then Dave asks Mayor Opie what were the things he did on City Council -- in his epic-length career -- that would have warranted him being chosen President.
So what was Mayor Opie's answer?
Let's just say he did his best to sidestep the question by saying that the very fact that he was chosen as President of City Council made him worthy to be President of City Council.
Uh-ha . . .
About a month ago, someone asked me what I thought of Luke Ravenstahl. I had to say that even after watching City Council meetings for about a year and a half, that I had no real idea what he actually thought about anything -- what his political philosophy is -- if he even had one. I added that as the conventional wisdom was that he was being groomed for higher office, it probably was not in his best interest to offer real opinions on anything that could be used against him later. I mean, why bother at this level? I said all he had to do at the council level was to appear capable and not really piss anyone off.
But, let's take a second to look at his record. Here's what stands out in my mind:
Kinda makes this new kid on the block look like one more good old boy network politico, no?
He was against Act 47 before he was for it (or at least against the Firefighters Union/Carlisle sponsored bid to end it now). He voted against the bubble zone ordinance to protect women from abusive protests at clinics with no explanation (which in this town leads me to believe that he's anti choice until, and if, he states otherwise.) When given a chance to really reform City Council spending, he opted to keep the walking around monies. When asked, as Mayor, if he would match Bob O'Connor's pledge that women and minorities would make up half of his appointees, he stopped short of agreeing instead weaseling out of an answer.
To quote McIntire again:
"Why does a young man necessarily have fresh ideas? He could be a product of an old crowd of long time politicos, and be their pawn in the end. People are WAY to quick to assume that youth equals fresh OR QUALIFIED."
You only have to listen to a group of Young College Republicans discussing their "ideas" to know that's the truth.
My bad! Apparently there's been a "NICKNAME TRANSFORMATION - MAYOR OPIE TO MAYOR DOOGIE."
I had the nagging suspicion when I originally wrote this that I had left something out. I did. Mayor Doogie also had to be pressured to reschedule the special election for Council District 3 last spring after Spring Break instead of during it. Council District 3 includes thousands of students who live in the Pitt Towers -- kids who are only a couple of years younger than he is. He finally changed the date the morning of a planned protest in Oakland. The original date was thought to favor the machine endorsed candidate.