Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Williamson earns heavyweight title

I bet someone $1000 that Williamson was going to win this election. Well, I almost did. I remember standing there looking at this guy who was absolutely convinced that Walling was going to trounce Williamson. I was mystified by his confidence - he's too old for that kind of pie in the sky optimism. Then I thought twice about shaking on the bet. I mean, what if I was wrong? David would kill me for a $1000 mistake on top of the $1100 mistake I had last week when I backed into my neighbor's car. The truth is, I just don't get this community - I don't trust their decision making skills.

Not that I was all that hep on Walling. Don't get me wrong, I voted for the guy and I urged others to vote for him also. Anyone would be better than Williamson at this critical time in our city. Yes, Walling was propped up by the good old boys, but this time around, I think the good old boys have the best plan. I think the positive steps occurring in this community are the steps taken by that enclosed system of those that have, and who are white, and have a fair degree of intelligence. Walling's Rhodes Scholarship fits in well. His experience on various governmental support teams at least provides some insight into government operations. And his youthful optimism - it could provide the necessary fuel for Flint's recovery.

But it became clear in the live debate a week ago that Dayne doesn't understand Flint. While Williamson bumbled his way up and around the questions, he captured the voting appeal of the average citizen, the automotive workers who have provided sweat labor for endless hours to provide for their families. Many of them don't have a degree; some, like their now two-term leader, never graduated from high school. What could a Rhodes Scholar do for them? They don't care that he has a vision for an educational center for downtown Flint. The only economics they care about is their own - and I don't blame them. Too many in this community can't even afford to feed their families, they are loosing their homes in historic numbers - and Walling is talking of his vision to turn Flint's downtown around.

He didn't connect.

Williamson did. He told viewers that at least he paved their streets. He took credit for other pavement projects as well even though they were completed by the state and federal government.

The Journal reported that Williamson and Walling lobbed barbs at one another during the debate. I have to tell you, I didn't see a single barb and I was watching for them! It was another way that Walling failed to capture the necessary votes to win. This town is gritty. It likes a good fight. Walling had 60 minutes of opportunity after opportunity to tell the city what most of us already know - Williamson lies. He had the facts. He should have used that forum to unload the truth while completely destroying the credibility of the 72-year-old babbling about farms and marriages - and streets and highways and bridges. If Walling would have given even a little push, the audience would have seen just how unbalanced and truly frightening Williamson can be.

Finally, I have to say, Walling also missed an outstanding opportunity to use the ads featuring Woodrow Stanley against Williamson. Those running his campaign should have recognized that the images truly reflected the mindset of the Williamson camp. A simple switch-a-roo of the photos with Williamson on top puppeting his tax-paid criminal friends at City Hall, not to mention Conroy and Larry Ford as well as the unbelievable number of clergy who came out in support. Oh, yes, puppeting indeed.

Instead, Walling's team stayed the course. No fight. No punch. No hit. No win.

Flint likes a fight. And I am afraid Williamson just earned his belt as a heavyweight.

I so wish I would have shook on that $1000 bet!

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