Seattle is veering so hard left that even the most liberal mayor in the city’s history may be too conservative. At least that’s what’s keeping him up nights.
It’s always entertaining and sometimes revealing to see what the out-of-town press finds when it comes to Seattle.
No, I’m not talking about how all the Amazonians are weeping at their desks. I don’t know how we missed that one — we’re right here in the same neighborhood!
I’m talking about the crisis that’s apparently brewing down at Seattle City Hall.
It’s our mayor. It seems he’s feeling unappreciated. It’s not crying-at-his-desk levels of angst. But it is keeping him up nights.
Most Read Local Stories
- Here's where the Seattle marches will be during Friday's Global Climate Strike; drivers, take note
- 'The youth are watching': Global Climate Strike draws students, adult allies to Friday demonstrations in Seattle WATCH
- ‘I just bear-hugged her’: Washington woman finds her missing dog after 57-day search in Montana
- Traffic jam ahead: Seattle's Fairview Avenue bridge closes Monday for an 18-month rebuild VIEW
- Suspect in deadly Westlake Station shooting charged with premeditated murder
“Ed Murray, Seattle’s Do-You-Like-Me Mayor,” reads the headline of a story on Ozy.com, a San Francisco area online magazine.
In it, the writer comes to Seattle and asks our mayor — described both as “highflying” and “wildly successful” — what it is that gives him sleepless nights.
“And so Mayor Murray tells me what’s keeping him up at night, pacing his bedroom in thin socks: ‘After everything I’ve accomplished for this city,’ he says angrily, a reddish color flooding up his milky cheeks, ‘I’m still ‘the man.’ ”
Holy insecurity complex! I had no idea the mayor was so conflicted. Or wore such thin socks.
Since this utterance appeared online, several theories have arisen as to what Murray actually meant by this.
Some have focused on the first part of what he said, where he’s channeling Donald Trump. As anyone who has ever been a parent knows, if you start out a sentence with “after everything I’ve done for you,” it tends not to matter how you finish. Everyone will be too busy rolling their eyes to hear.
But some observers noted it was understandable that the mayor might be feeling a bit burdened and weary after so much time at the helm of such a rambunctious and fast-growing family as Seattle.
But then others pointed out he’s only been mayor for … 18 months.
More revealing, then, is the second part of what he said. Which is that even though he’s the mayor, he declaims any desire to be known as “the man.” In fact it rankles that some in this city apparently see him not as a well-meaning and friendly progressive who is here to help, but as the authority. The boss. The hammer.
Kind of like what happened to Bernie Sanders when he came here to speak.
Others have pointed out that only in Seattle does the boss fret about the propriety of actually being known as the boss. It seems unlikely that, say, the mayor of Chicago, who goes by the nickname “Rahmbo,” is losing any sleep over his status as “the man.”
Anyway, the story surprisingly goes on to quote Murray, who is not even halfway through his term, as already sizing up his legacy.
“My obituary has been written,” Murray says. “If I fail at this job I am going to be OK; I did what I wanted to do.”
This guy’s got an approval rating of 70 percent. Yes, the last three Seattle mayors have all been voted out of office, so it’s never too soon to start looking over your shoulder. But it seems a little premature to be going all past tense on us.
Another national story, this one in Governing magazine, suggests what may really be keeping the mayor up nights. It’s a sober political analysis, sparing the red color flooding into milky cheeks and sock metaphors and instead getting right to the rub.
“Ed Murray: One of America’s most progressive mayors,” it is headlined. “But can he survive in an increasingly liberal Seattle?”
“Any official who’s perceived as ‘too establishment’ faces a backlash from the left, no matter what his progressive bona fides may be,” the article astutely notes.
Ed Murray is probably the most liberal mayor in the history of Seattle. If the polls are to be believed, he’s also one of the more popular. But he seems to sense he still may be too conservative for our emerging hard-left politics.
What can he do? By definition, he can’t change that he’s the man.