Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Another compare and contrast of Hizzoner: Dean feels our pain now

A year ago this weekend Karl Dean appeared on NPR and he seemed to have relatively detached tones about the degree of the disaster of 2010 Nashville flood in an attempt to encourage tourists to come to Nashville:

80 to 90% of the city is untouched by the flood, so there are whole areas of the city where you wouldn't know anything happened. The areas that were hit were hit hard and our hearts go out to the people who were heart by it .... [But] we're still Music City. We're still a great tourist destination. We're open for business.

Now that we're in a re-election campaign cycle, the Mayor has all of Nashville touched by the flood; the measured, open-for-business talking points are taking a backseat to the euphemisms designed to evoke the idea that we're all in this boat together:

Many lost their family homes, their businesses, their jobs and a lifetime’s worth of personal treasures. Some still continue to struggle and need our help. Each of us lost the false confidence that natural disasters are always somebody else’s news story. And none of us will ever look at the river, a rainy day or an approaching storm in the same way again.

It seems a jarring contrast: "our hearts go out to the isolated hard-hit neighborhoods, but the show must go on" vs. "when everything goes wrong we can all count on each other." But as I pointed out, it is an election year, and if we are all in this together, we will more likely vote for the guy in the boat with us rather than the guy whose heart is going out to us at arm's length.

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