Hot Air

Bloomington’s Armistice Day

Here I am again, temporarily, the day after the biggest, baddest, bloodiest election some peeps around this here town have ever seen. The bent hatbrims and torn hankies! Oh, the humanity!

Anyway, John Hamilton and Darryl Neher somehow emerged with their lives as well as all five limbs each. Oh, and Hamilton came out of the carnage with the mayor’s sash about to be draped around his torso. Only he must go through the formalities of a general “election” in Nov. Wake me when it’s over.

Hamilton

Meet The New Boss

BTW: John Turnbull claimed victory in the Republican primary with a scant 344 vote edge over his opponent. Who was no one. Literally.

Ah, democracy in a one-party town.

So, here are a few thoughts about yesterday’s struggle-to-the-death:

☐ As time went by, it became clear that Darryl Neher wanted to be the mayor but John Hamilton needed to be the mayor. Call it mid-life panic or the burden of coming from a storied political family or even a desire to hold up his end of a power marriage, Hamilton fought like a tiger and took no naps during the campaign. Let’s hope that kind of single-minded determination can benefit our war-torn town.

Acc’d’g to the Herald Times, some 6641 citizens voted in the Democratic primary for mayor. So, where in the hell were the rest of the Dems in this overwhelmingly Dem burgh?

☐ Even though Neher lost, he’s got the brightest future in town. It takes a loss, sometimes, to focus a candidate, to teach him lessons, to help him crystallize his message and turn his next campaign army into a lean, mean, fighting force.

☐ Yesterday’s vote was as close as it could be to a numerical reversal of the 2011 primary that Hamilton lost to Mark Kruzan. Hmm. In the space of four short years, Kruzan went from powerhouse to liability. This politics game is not for the weak at heart, that’s for sure.

☐ That said, here’s another reason Darryl Neher’s future looks rosy: He won’t have the Kruzan millstone around his neck next time. Funny thing is, the Hamilton camp knew months ago that, contrary to certain charges and slurs bandied about in public, Neher’s biggest drawback was his bed-sharing with the outgoing mayor.

☐ The Bloomington Alternative provided in-depth coverage of the candidates’ positions better than anyone else in town. The Herald Times and WFIU/WTIU should take that as a challenge. They probably won’t, though.

☐ In other races, I still can’t fathom how it can be possible in this Democratic Party stronghold that no one in District VI can be found to challenge Steve Volan. Not that I necessarily want to see him ousted, but jeez….

☐ Dave Rollo faced a stiff challenge in District IV, edging Phillipa Guthrie by a mere 85 votes. No other city council race was that close. Deer, amiright?

So, that’s that. I’m going back to writing the Zietlow book now. See you later.

3 thoughts on “Hot Air

  1. Don Moore says:

    I don’t get your Kruzan meme, at all. If he would have chosen a fourth term, he would have won. Quite simply, the Neher name, unlike the Kruzan name, was not able to trump the Hamilton name. “Hamilton” and “Kruzan” are long time local political names with considerable favorability with them. “Neher” not very much so, both in recognition as a Democratic political name and in favorable impressions associated with its use. The Hamilton theme of Neher being a closet Republican and that pre-electon unfamiliarity of most voters with him made favorability very difficult for Neher.

    Also, unlike Kruzan, this was Neher’s first attempt at a city wide campaign, while opposing someone with two previous efforts with the city precincts (the congressional primary race and the mayoral primary). That is a huge advantage, especially when coupled with some operatives and connections from those previous races. Of course, if Kruzan would have ran, Hamilton was not going to challenge again, and neither would have Neher.

    • glabwrites says:

      Don, I’ll just have to disagree with you. Kruzan’s name had become poison. I’ve talked to too many sources, in and and out of city government, who’ve said so.

  2. There was a current of thought that wanted new faces in city hall among the Democratic electorate in town. That is why Hamilton won the DFMC endorsement. So, for some local Dems it was a change election, while Neher accepted so many endorsements from within the city, he painted himself as the establishment candidate. Some folks wanted to paint the DFMC endorsement as rigged, or heavily influenced by myself. The endorsement was actually a barometer of where rank and file Democrats found themselves after one too many problems were exposed in the current city government.

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