My picture is on the front page of The Kansas City Star today. I'm off to the right of Mark Funkhouser and I look like a banshee on ecstasy.
After I lit my cigar, I wrapped my arm around Jeff Simon, the campaign committee chair, and said, "I can't believe it."
It seems like six years ago when I first met Jeff in Funk's dining room last November. I went to the meeting not sure what to expect. I'd gotten an e-mail from Mark saying he was running for mayor and he wanted my help. I thought it might be fun, but I didn't think we'd have a chance.
But then Mark leaned across the table, looked me in the eye and said, "I'm going to win this thing."
And I instantly believed him.
I'd like to say I believed we were going to win all along. And were it not for the frequent moments of extreme anxiety along the way I'd say that's true. There was just something supernatural about this campaign; there were too many perfect accidents and coincidences. And the buzz and enthusiasm around the campaign was so intense that I felt certain right up until the Jackson County results started coming in that we would win in a landslide.
Now that it's the day after it's dawning on me how close we were to losing it, how Brooks really could've crushed us if he'd done just a few things differently. If the mayor hadn't freaked out and made our main issue front-page news. If...
Right before Allie and I left the Beaumont Club last night Funk leaned over and shouted in my ear, "It's like a movie."
Damn straight. We pulled off a damned big Frank-Capra-style upset.