You can tell from the title -- "Mayor 'McSchwinn', Loveless in Seattle" -- that the Wall Street Journal story published Jan. 20 was going to reach deep into its bag of cliches to let the world know what makes Seattle tick. The lead should provide ample warning: "Seattle's Patagonia-clad residents are known for their reserve and consensual nature, their green politics and generosity with tax dollars."
The only things missing were rain-soaked, mossy-backed, and latte-loving. Mayor Mike McGinn is a "jowly and bearded 52-year-old lawyer," who, because he commuted to his Sierra Club job on a "electrically-assisted bike," seemed "Made-For-Starbuckstown."
The story, written by Matthew Kaminski, a member of the Journal's editorial board, moves on to reprise all the many ways Mayor McSchwinn has managed to alienate "Seattle's liberal media," the unions, the business community -- even cyclists and greens.
Kaminski proceeds to take the reader through our tunnel wars -- which "is how the 'Seattle process' earned its bad name"-- the wrath McGinn incurred by appointing a local cycling activist, David Hiller, as his transportation policy adviser, his dead-on-arrival $60 car tab fee, and of course, the ongoing headache Seattle Police Department has caused "His Beardedness."
"The Seattle Times has turned particularly vicious," the story continues, calling him 'tone deaf' and 'badly wounded.' And, to boot, an 'anti-car' zealot out to turn Seattle into the Motor-less City.
'Oh please,' he (McGinn) replies. 'My first car was a 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix...That's like a right-wing talking point.'"
Kaminski asks McGinn "why this liberal city turned against him," and the mayor replies, "Maybe the range of left to right in this town isn't the same as in other places, but we do have our divides."