Tuesday, January 04, 2011

oh, carol. you're losing me.

Just because I have brown skin (and breasts) does not mean I'm voting for Carol Moseley Braun for Mayor.

I think I'm even supposed to be one of her target demographic: woman of color, professional, educated, tired of old boy politics, pro choice, progressive, feminist-y, and modern. But I'm not digging Carol's style right now. Her campaign style is definitely not...modern. It's a mish mash of crankiness, recalcitrance, bull-headedness and iron-fisted charm. If her campaign was a CEO, I'd hate to work for her.

Am I supposed to be impressed she convinced Meeks and Davis to drop out? I wonder if their capitulation was due to her directly or the result of inevitability? Rev. Meeks insulted gays, women, Latinos, Asians, and people who knew gays, women, Latinos and Asians. Danny Davis is old (this isn't me being ageist; he's seriously old. Grandfather old. He won't make it!). And he's a demigod in his district. Why would he trade in his demi-deity to paint a target on his back as Mayor of a city with a huge deficit and mounting infrastructure issues? Does the fact she's the last black woman standing mean I'm ready to vote for Carol?

Not really.

To be honest, her reliance on tired Old Black Dude (OBD) traditions makes me, a modern brown woman, even more tired. The OBD circuit is not where I come from. For once, can't we ignore that old dog/pony church circuit show? As the daughter of a pastor, I don't know what's more insulting: politicians polluting a church with their shilling, or pastors allowing them to do it. And watching her play 'gotcha' games (like the flip flop about the tax return) with the media is not helping me. Neither is her futile crusade against the parking meters. (She want to sue because it was a bad deal? They didn't pay enough? I think that milk is spilt.) Her comfort with the OBD circuit ages her - and alienates me.

Is the OBD circuit emblematic of what her administration would be?

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, but has Braun left hers? Perhaps that's a little unfair of me, but I see a woman in her very well kept Hyde Park home, occasionally venturing out to give a few speeches and raise some money during a luncheon. She's a genteel lady who lunches -and I'm not.

The communicator in me believes in stories - not so much campaign cliches - but narratives of a vision. But what's Carol's story? What's her vision? Will she put Chicago on the path of something new or does she think it's good enough just to maintain the status quo? Where does she see Chicago going and how will she steer it? And why her? What's her value proposition? I've read her site (after weeks of searching for it) and all I can think of is blah blah blah.

On Christmas Eve, M- and I were having lunch somewhere in the art gallery district and overheard some regular guys talking about the Mayoral race. One of them said, 'She's a nice lady. But she just wants a job.'


Folks like me want to know what's inside the package. Black ministers don't do it for me. Neither do the unions. Who are the thinkers, the doers, the innovative creatives who are going to help you get Chicago back on track (if you think the wheels have come off.) When Chicago is threatening to fracture into sectarian groups again, how is she going to engage the whole public to rally around her, as the symbol of this city?

I'm the public, Carol, and you're losing me.


Orange said...

I dunno. Davis and Moseley-Braun are only 6 years apart (69, 63).

It'll be an interesting several weeks, the lead-up to 2/22.

Zenobia said...

Don't vote for her because she is Black or female...that diminishes all wome. Carol is brilliant. She's got the best resume of the bunch and she has a proven track record of success.

Rahm has not passed a bill while in office, failed at creating bipartisanhip for Obama and truth be told was fired by Clinton for leaking info.

Chico's law firm went bankrupt and he made most of his money through lucrative city contracts.

Since you don't work for her campaign-you are not in a position to comment truthflly about what it is like to work for her.

You seem like a thoughtful reasonable person. Don't let the media define who Carol is for you. get to know her for yourself.

Delia Christina said...

@Zenobia - my metaphor was a little unclear: the tone/method of her campaign, not herself or her staff, is too uneven for me and that makes me unable to engage with her, as a potential leader.

she was a smart legislator, absolutely. but right now she's running for mayor and i don't get what her campaign is doing - or what its vision is of When Carol Wins.

and you're right, all the campaigns are all over the place. rahm is counting on his DC glamour; chico is hoping the demographic changes in chicago can override everything else - including the rahm hate; and del valle, well. dell valle just wants to hang in there.

i desperately want to vote for a woman mayoral candidate. research shows that when women are elected into office, social conditions for women improve as policy priorities shift. if carol was toni preckwinkle, i'd have no problem voting for her. but carol is no toni.