Just how fast can a skinny white boy from the burbs eat a scarcely-cooked crow?
It’s still early. However word that the polls south the of the river were slow – even with kickass weather -, combined with an early 69-31 lead up north for Mike Burke over Sly James have experts like Tony Botello and Larry Sells giving me the distinct impression that James goose is cooked.
If Sly pulls it out – and the concensus seems to be that he needs 40 percent of the vote up north – he will have to be on the receiving end of some sort of landslide later in the southland. But with a light turnout – the old guard white folks who live off Ward Parkway like Jim "Jimmy C" Fitzpatrick – will likely get their way.
Making for a bone dry, next four years. You know you’re in an excitement drought when even Burke backer Jim Nutter Sr. agrees former KC mayor Richard Berkley is a live wire compared to Mike.
Which brings us to – should it come to pass – how Sly blew it.
In my opinion James played his cards way too close to his vest.
Instead of embracing more fully his ethnicity, James tried to out white Burke. And that was a losing battle. No way James was going to convince Ward Parkway Republicans that he was a second coming of Barrack Obama. Yeah, he had charm and a ton more personality than Burke (which isn’t saying much) but how energizing is that to the black community?
Guess we’ll find out later tonight.
And like Nutter said, James probably shouldn’t have kept his white wife under wraps. Might have helped.
Allow me to share an anecdote from primary night at James victory party in Westport.
When I introduced myself to him for a brief moment of light chat, then asked James for his cell so I could call him later for a story, he said: "I don’t give that out." Whereupon a trailing PR chick intercepted me with her buisness card.
Funkhouser, Cleaver, Berkley, Lewellen – pretty much every other pol I ever dealt with – served up their cell numbers no questions asked. And all of them were always glib and ready with an off-the-cuff quote.
James, on the other hand, was playing this election not to lose.
Don’t say anything to piss off or alienate the white folks. He should have been drumming inspiration into the black community and telling it – unafraid – like it is to the medai and voters. He should have been calling out Burke instead of politely laying his political cape over all those puddles.
Hey, it ain’t over yet and now I’ve hedged my election prediction bets. May the best man win.
Instead of settling for just having far more personality than his opponent and keeping it in his pants.