Classy closing speeches by both mayoral candidates, and by Kamala Harris. ... Hallinan was just ludicrous, quoting show tunes and show-off pseudo-statistics. ... Full results are at the Election Department site. ...
Such a long campaign. Tortoise and hare analogies limp to mind, given the fact that the mayoral race, despite many starters, came down to a contest between the guy who started first – more than 24 months ago – and the guy who started last, only four months ago. ...
One of Newsom’s people the other day likened the long haul to a football game: “We had a great first two quarters, fumbled in the third, scrambled in the fourth, and now it’s the two minute warning, and we’re going to have punt, maybe.”
Well, analogies, animalistic and sporting, are invidious, but they’ll fill the conversation today. Remarkably, what people are already talking about is not that Newsom won impressively, but the fact that Gonzalez lost.
The momentum behind Gonzalez was amazing, not only for its force, but also for its alacrity. So what happened to it? Did the rain keep the youthful voters away? I don’t think so. Call it instead a case of wine and song and then sermons and soda water. Here’s an example: a friend, a steady enough citizen, surprised me last Tuesday night when, after the last debate, he complained how stilted and speechifying Newsom was and how mild-mannered, thoughtful and appealing Gonzalez was. This thirty-something was sure to vote Green, I thought.
But by Sunday, he was reassessing: how would a Gonzalez mayoralty deal with the debt and the deficit? Would a Gonzalez win wither the business climate? What about taxes? Sermons and soda water. Yesterday, he voted for Newsom.
Another friend, a stylish boomer, always alert to social change and to chic (In ’68 she was dressed for the Revolution, -- but by Saks). She’s now a realtor. Yet she was buzzing about Matt. All for him. And then on Sunday, on Columbus Ave, she was panhandled … for about the 1,000th time. The spectre of stinking streets and highjacking homeless just ripped her again. She voted for Newsom.
Internalized Sunday sermons and soda water. That’s what killed the Gonzalez boomlet. To focus on that is not to disregard Newsom’s tremendous achievement or to dismiss his own great appeal. It’s just to deal with the phenom that marked the latter days of the campaign.
Gavin Newsom also drew tremendous strength from the fact that he was able to convey an image of himself as a Big City Mayor – a manager, a politician, a dealer in the political economy, a greeter. Matt, given his makeup, never did that. People could envisage him as an insurgent, but not as a Big City Mayor. … And although people don’t like to talk about it, San Franciscans do expect their mayor to be a Big Shot, a man who has a protocol office as well as a political agenda. They like a mayor with Star power.
So, kudos to the new Mayor of San Francisco. He fought hard, fought long, and took some terrible hits. He’s not the toff he was painted as. In fact, he’s tough. He’ll need that toughness. We’ll need it from him too. … But he’s also a kind man. We’ll need that too. We’ll also need his smiles – and those of Kimberly Guilfoyle, his great wife. It’ll be fun seeing them around town. …