Wednesday, October 17, 2007

popularity

As some of you know, I had a few tough months this summer with my new job. About a month in, the Mayor appointed a woman to the Parks Board who happened to be a member of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, which is this anti-illegal immigration group that's arguably racist against Hispanics. This made the job tough because it seemed as though our administration was spinning toward failure, that this misstep would consume us, and we'd never get anything done, and we'd be the first one-term mayoral administration in Kansas City in a long, long time.

But then a couple of months ago we start hearing that the Mayor's approval ratings have been through the roof. We're talking historic highs -- like 70 percent. In fact, the more the mayor held his ground on the appointment, refusing to buckle to boycott threats, the more his approval ratings went up. These polls were conducted in conjunction with some ballot initiatives that are coming up, and they were paid for by other people, so we didn't own the info. And, for reasons I still don't understand, I was sworn to secrecy about them. But now, finally, the embargo has been lifted. I'm going to be getting copies of the poll results today, and then comes the fun part of figuring out how best to disburse the info.

All this underscores what I wrote about the other day, about in-crowds and politics. If you're immersed in City Hall, and in the circles that orbit City Hall, you would think that the Mayor is really blowing it. But if you go out among the masses, the people we're ostensibly serving, you'll see that he's a huge success.

I'm really curious to see what will happen when the insiders learn this, when they find out that their take on reality is completely wrong. Will they all fall in line with the mayor's agenda? Or will they work all the harder to make their dreams become reality?

I'm guessing a little of both, but that the former will win out.

1 comment:

Joel said...

Question, though: The mayor's the mayor, obviously, but still -- doesn't it take some cooperation with City Hall insiders to get anything of substance done?