Stranger editorial director Dan Savage is continuing to do what he does best--seek publicity for himself--this time with a threatened campaign for mayor. But as Dan himself will tell you, it's not just about him. Really he's trying to stand up for the democratic process.
"I have a love for democracy," he says, "and it doesn't flourish in places where people aren't challenged by legit candidates at the ballot box."
I'm pretty sure Gallagher said the same thing when he ran for California governor in 2003.
Let's leave aside how exactly a joke candidate remedies the problem of not enough legit candidates. One thing's obvious: By inserting himself into the campaign, Savage is going to have precisely the opposite effect of what he purports to want.
Dan's role model.
Dan says he's in "unless somebody else jumps in." But, last we checked, two "legit" challengers to Nickels had already jumped in--McGinn and Donaldson. So apparently this makes Dan kingmaker who will get to decide who is of sufficient caliber to dissuade him from the race. This Chicago-style megalomania is perhaps unsurprising, given that Dan also claims credit for putting Greg Nickels into office in the first place.
So if you were a potential candidate, and you thought there was some chance you'd end up having to share the stage with the biggest attention hog in the city, would you be more inclined to get in the race--or less? If you thought Gallagher might be up there with you at the Muni League debate--mugging and playing to his fans, gleefully free of all the annoying expectations that are imposed on somebody who might actually hold office--would that make a campaign more appealing to you--or less?
It's pretty obvious that Savage's stunt, if anything, is only going to further scare off worthy candidates, ones who might actually want the job, not just the radio appearances.