Well, you can’t say the past week has been boring!
Thinking about yesterday’s events (video and comments from other blogs follow) I am reminded of something I said in passing several years ago about “retirement”. Until recently, I could never imagine myself retiring. I always just assumed that I would work until I died. Until recently, the notion of having “free time” was so foreign to me that I reckoned any “retirement” forced or voluntary would pretty much kill me with boredom. Now with 5 months of “singledom” and 4 months of spotty work under my belt I think I’ll be fine in retirement, and hope I can figure out a way to do it soon (if I can just win the lottery).
That said, very few “type A personalities” ever successfully retire. If they do, they either drive everyone around them crazy or away, or they die of boredom. It’s easy to understand. They’ve been the movers and shakers all their lives. They’ve busted their humps to the point that they have little else but that hump busting, and after retiring they look around at the “all” they have and realize that aside from the material, it ain’t really all that much.
I don’t know if this is what our former Mayor is going through or not, but it stands to reason that for most type A personalities, 2 weeks with nothing to do is about all the time they can stand themselves.
So he pulled a petition and stirred up the media attention, and got just about every person in the city riled up to some extent. That’s what our former Mayor thrives on. But without the trappings of an office of import, eventually the media is going to figure out what the Memphis Flyer has figured out…that he’s just another wannabe.
The comments, particularly on Twitter have ranged from angry to pricelessly funny 140 character screeds. I won’t quote them here, because really picking just a few is unfair to the teeming throngs, but let’s just say it has been HIGHLY entertaining.
On the blogs, it’s been quite something else. I think many of us are still dumbfounded by the whole thing. Certainly, adanovi at Knoxviews is not only dumbfounded, but outraged:
Yes, that’s right. Willie Herenton who retired from Mayor of Memphis, has picked up a petition to run in the special election to replace himself….
…This guy needs to be out of politics. He should have to pay the more than 1 million dollars required to hold the upcoming special election. He DOES NOT need to be representing any constituency of Tennessee in Congress and Memphis CERTAINLY needs new leadership. (Source)
Our new friend The Memphis Liberal has some link love to several articles that are quite revealing.
But all pale in comparison to this post by Voice of Andromeda. Here’s a little sample
TO DR. HERENTON: We don’t need your help. You are not the ‘be all’ and ‘end all’ of Memphis politics. There are views and issues which deserve the air. There are problems you have ignored, including, most egregiously, your own African-American community which has not prospered under your reign. You poison race relations in Memphis and we need you gone in order to move forward. We love our city too and your continued involvement in our local affairs moves us backward, not forward.
Of course you have the legal right to resign and of course you have the legal right to re-file for the same office. People have all kinds of legal rights to do crazy things – doesn’t mean they ought to do them or that, in doing them, everyone else doesn’t have the right to question their sanity.
In 2007, you wasted a lot of taxpayers’ time, money and efforts in running for an office you didn’t want. Less than two years later, you resigned, causing we the taxpayers (you remember, the people you supposedly want to represent again) to foot the bill for a special election to the tune of $1 million-plus. Now you want taxpayers to foot the bill for this special election for no reason since you want your job back….THEN IF YOU WIN, YOU WANT US TO PAY FOR ANOTHER SPECIAL ELECTION WHEN YOU QUIT AGAIN NEXT YEAR TO RUN FOR CONGRESS. ENOUGH!!(Source)
I don’t think I have much more to say on the matter, other than “actions speak louder than words, but words have a pretty strong voice”. By repeatedly defending himself against charges of insanity, the former Mayor certainly raises the question of his sanity. Crazy is as Crazy does sir.
What follows are three of the interviews done by our former Mayor yesterday.