What next for our lame-duck mayor? After spending his entire adult life in politics, Greg Nickels can't join a downtown law firm because he isn't


Big Mayor on Campus

What next for our lame-duck mayor? After spending his entire adult life in politics, Greg Nickels can't join a downtown law firm because he isn't a lawyer. Nor, in fact, does he even have a college degree. He's stigmatized as a loser, a guy who can't shovel snow, a champion of costly, unpopular transportation projects, a flunky to Paul Allen and other campaign contributors. His career options may be quite limited as a result, especially in our current recession. Suddenly, unexpectedly, we feel for the guy.

Nickels inspired little love during his two terms as mayor, yet his concession speech after his primary defeat made us see him in a new light. He was funny, humble, not at all rancorous about his stunning rejection by the electorate. For the first time in eight years (and perhaps longer), we actually liked the big lug a little bit.

So cheer up, Greg, we know exactly what you should do next with your life. Details after the jump...

The suit, the tie, the humility...with his jowly, baggy physical presence, Nickels is a guy who--out of office, anyway--inspires little respect. He's not handsome or articulate. He doesn't have some fancy Ivy League degree. His son got in trouble with the law. His flaws make him more relatable somehow. His lack of charisma almost becomes a badge of honor. He reminds us of someone, a certain schlubby comic who, in a signature film role, decided to earn the respect he felt was denied him because he lacked one small line on his résumé.

We refer, of course, to Rodney Dangerfield in the 1986 hit comedy Back to School.

And we suggest Greg Nickels do the same: Go back to school! Reenroll at the UW and finish the degree he began in the mid '70s. Think of the possibilities:

  • At the age of 54, with over three decades of political experience, he's uniquely qualified to be president of his frat, provided all members hail from West Seattle.
  • Nickels could be a mentor at the Fiji house, helping with homework and mediating conflicts over what brand of beer to order for Tuesday night keggers.
  • He can outdrink any pledge, any time, any choice of booze--including Jäger shots sucked from the navel of a willing sorority girl.
  • In Econ 101, he could write a paper on tunnel financing. (Just remember to add the possibility of future tolling, and the math will always work itself out.)
  • You know what's a underutilized asset? All that parking beneath Red Square. Collegian Nickels might have some good ideas on a public-private partnership to maximize parking revenue there.
  • Tim Ceis can take all his tests for him.
  • Freed from the confines of political office, he can finally get that tattoo he's long wanted: "BMOC: Big Mayor on Campus."
  • Husky Stadium isn't large enough or swell enough. Undergraduate Nickels has a plan for a dramatic renaming and expansion, to be underwritten by a small additional tax on textbooks. We like the sound of Nordstrom Field
  • Can help implement the Kyoto Protocols on campus by harvesting the grease traps at the HUB cafeteria to convert all UW vehicles to biodiesel.
  • Put him in a furry dog suit, and he can be the football team mascot.
  • Will clean up the Ave by planting more trees and painting decorative murals on empty storefront windows.
  • Happy to explain the benefits of light rail to any fellow students willing to listen.
  • Will hand-paint sharrows and fix potholes on any and all U District streets.
  • Can be relied upon as fair and impartial judge at Gamma Delta sorority's annual naked Jell-O wrestling tournament.
  • Will prove he's just another student by wearing skinny low-rise jeans from American Apparel.
  • In all classes, Nickels could self-award himself a B. Provided, of course, that it doesn't snow.
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