Written March 29, 2017     
 

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LONSBERRY POLL
What should Rachel Barnhart do?
Run for mayor
Run for City Council
Go back to TV news
Disappear

© 2017 Bob Lonsberry

 
 
RACHEL BARNHART FOR CITY COUNCIL

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This is not a call for Rachel Barnhart to abandon her mayoral campaign.

That would be pointless.

It’s already dead.

This is a call for her to announce her candidacy for City Council, and to pursue a position on it. Not as a consolation prize to her, but as a genuine service to Rochester.

Rachel Barnhart has spent 17 years as a television journalist, and one year as a Democrat politician. She was pretty good at the former, and not so hot at the latter. And now she languishes in a campaign for mayor that will, if carried through to completion, leave her in humiliation on primary night.

She faces Mayor Lovely Warren and former police chief Jim Sheppard. They are, in the context of Rochester politics, major leaguers. They represent two wings of the city Democratic Party fighting tooth and nail for supremacy. One of them will be the mayor.

And Rachel Barnhart will be the punchline.

I don’t say that maliciously. I admire Rachel Barnhart. She is a person of genuine talent. But she has no business in this race. And by persisting in it, she will damage her reputation and rebrand herself in a most unfavorable way. Further, if she has a contribution to make as an elected leader – which she may – she will forever forfeit that contribution.

On the other hand, as a candidate for City Council – there are two at-large seats open this year – she honestly offers something of use to city residents, and she would have a potential path to victory.

Before I explain, let me make this clear: I disagree with about everything Rachel Barnhart says. I think her progressivism often pegs the needle on the cuckoo scale. She has that wonderful Democrat blend of ignorance, arrogance, superiority and naivete that I find so revolting.

But she wouldn’t be running to represent me. She’d be running to represent the folks in the city of Rochester who share her views – of whom there might be quite a few.

I believe she could represent them well.

The Rochester City Council is an interesting body. As presently constituted, it features some distinctive and competent people. Many of them are folks of genuine accomplishment who demonstrate a sincere effort in the discharge of their duties. Right now, the City Council is not a joke; it’s actually a pretty respectable body.

And Rachel Barnhart could be a good addition to it. In the mix and balance of personalities and motives – backgrounds and strengths – a Rachel Barnhart might be an asset.

She would also – like other members of the Council – be kept in check by her colleagues. She would have to partner up and be persuasive to push forward her priorities. Other members of Council could shed light in her areas of ignorance and she could return the favor. There is teamwork required in any legislative body, and facing that reality would be good for her.

Also, from the standpoint of who she most naturally represents – very progressive white elites – she would more realistically stand for them in a diverse City Council than stand for the entire city as mayor. Rochester as an entire city needs a mayor who looks and thinks like either Lovely Warren or Jim Sheppard. A city councilman, on the other hand, can be less broadly representative, and can look and think like Rachel Barnhart.

So she should retool.

If it’s going to be a primary election anyway, Rachel Barnhart should shift focus to the City Council primary election. She should see that opportunity to serve, and to improve her capabilities, and she should seize it.

She should try to patch up her relationship with both wings of the Democratic Party, and extend the hand of friendship to both candidates for mayor. She should recognize the potential City Council offers her to make the sort of difference she believes in.

Granted, City Council brings only a part-time paycheck. But if you’re running for office for a paycheck, shame on you. Service on City Council would allow Rachel Barnhart to establish an outside career. Some other members have strong careers in the private sector or the non-profit world and make great contributions there.

So that’s my suggestion – that Rachel Barnhart run for City Council.

She could be a voice for many.

Whereas, if she stays in the race for mayor, she will be a voice for no one.

I would call for Rachel Barnhart to abandon her mayoral campaign.

But that would be pointless.

It’s already dead.

Now we have to see if Rachel Barnhart can make anything good from its ashes.


- by Bob Lonsberry © 2017

   
        
   
 
    
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