May 16, 2008

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

Mayor Cox not a strong mayor

I find it very interesting the recent discussions of Mayor Cox’s shaky 3-2 majority on the council. . . . . that the mayor cannot govern without a council majority. One paper encouraged us to elect a candidate who would be the third vote she could count on. (Gulp)

Why do they think she has a shaky 3-2 majority? Because she is perceived as being extremely pro development, a mayor who listens mostly to developers, the Chamber of Commerce and the real estate industry. She won by 23124 to Steve Padilla’s 19509 votes but I daresay she would not win by that much today. Too many people are telling me (I supported her election) we made a mistake. Many do not view her as a mayor of the people.

Maybe she is spending too much time emulating Jerry Sanders. Problem is he is a Strong Mayor because the people voted to make him one. Not so in Chula Vista! Electing someone to be a certain third vote for Mayor Cox may not be in our best interest.

Susan Watry
ChulaVista

Joe Ortiz: Political Cloth, Prophetic Cloth

I enjoyed Joe Oritz’ article, “Barack Obama is cut from a Political Cloth, not a Prophetic One”(May 2, 2008).

My name is David Hoff, a graduate student of Rhetoric and Composition in Canada. I’ve been following the nomination intensely, and have taken an interesting in Obama’s oratory, and handling of controversy.

Joe’s article is the FIRST that I’ve come across that really speaks plainly about prophetic tradition and sermonic rhetoric.

I sympathize with Obama, because in a way he’s up against Bill Clinton’s motto: “First you have to win elections.” Peter Birkenhead writes, “one gets the sense that Obama might be more inclined to heed Abraham Lincoln’s advice, ‘My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.’ “ I believe the reference to “disowning” in “A More Perfect Union” was an allusion to Peter’s disowning of Jesus—and the temptation he would have had to face. But Peter wasn’t running for president.

I don’t believe that Obama is MORE duplicitous than other candidates, but he is the only one using sermonic rhetoric for political purposes, and he is not preaching openly—which would be a sign of faith and authenticity. Some of my friends say, regardless, he’s the better leader. But that is like saying the Wizard of Oz can lead Oz without the smoke-screen: “I think you’re a very bad man,” said Dorothy. “Oh no my dear, I’m really a very good man. But I’m a very bad Wizard, I must admit” (the Wizard of Oz, Frank Baum)

David Hoff
London, Ontario
Canada

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