Clark Howard for Mayor?

Seems like everywhere I turn the last couple of days, I hear or read something about Clark Howard considering a run for Mayor of the City of Atlanta. I have to say that this is the first time I can ever remember being, in my 17 years of voting, truly excited about a candidate. And he’s not even a candidate yet!

This is a man who can’t be bought – he appears immune to corruption. He is fair, kind, smart, and truly wants to help people. (How many of our politicians can we say that about?) Right up my alley, too: Socially liberal, fiscally conservative. God knows, our fair city needs a bit of both of those.

I wonder how any of his opponents could actually find an Achilles heel in him? He is well-respected. He does charity work out the wazoo. He is a family man, and, frankly, borders on boring. I doubt there are any skeletons in his closet.

I am going to be crushed if he doesn’t run. I want so badly to see what would happen if he did. What I wonder most of all is whether Atlanta is ready for a white mayor again. We haven’t had one since 1972. I think our city should be proud of how far it has come in the last fifty years. I also would be really proud to live in a city where people overlook race and political affiliations and do the right thing by electing the best man for the job. Even if he is a white male.


More on the possibility of him running at Peach Pundit and Creative Loafing.

28 Comments so far

  1. d.ortiz (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 3:36 pm

    This doesn’t make any sense:

    “This is a man who can’t be bought – he appears immune to corruption.”

    Maybe, maybe not. But since he has never held public office, I don’t see where this comes from.

  2. Chintan (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 3:54 pm

  3. George Burdell (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

    I too think Clark Howard is great, but I wouldn’t wish politics on him. He is too nice of a person to have to deal with the typical criticisms and other bullshit that come with being a politician.

  4. Annie (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 4:35 pm

    Well, no, D, he has not held public office, but he does have a lot of sway with consumers, and so he refrains from taking money for advertising. Think of how much $ he could make from giving products the “Clark Howard Stamp of Approval” and yet he does not take money from advertisers. That speaks volumes to me about his ability to not be swayed by a dollar. I think the word I am looking for is “integrity.” Clark Howard has integrity.

    Just out of curiosity, D, do you ever tire of hearing yourSELF being the snarky devil’s advocate? I mean, me? I never get tired of your comments. A post without a comment from you is like a day without sun for me.

  5. Annie (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

    Chintan – Agreed that he is cheap, but I would much prefer a cheap politician running my city than a spendthrift.

  6. Annie (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 4:41 pm

    George, i have to say that the last thing I expected was someone objecting to him because he’s to nice. That is funny. I think it would be great to see him shake things up in our political landscape. And do you have any idea how much backbone it takes to be that cheap? I think he could handle it.

  7. Adam (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 7:23 pm

    He considered running a few years back and changed his mind at that last moment. I believe his reasons were personal (family, work, etc). He is one candidate that I’d have absolutely no issues with whatsoever. I may not agree with him 100%, but he has his heart in the right place.

    His biggest problem winning the election will be one of race. Is it possible for a white man to be mayor of Atlanta?

  8. Annie (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 8:06 pm

    That’s exactly what I wonder, Adam. I really wonder what African American voters will do if he runs. In my mind, he is so completely the best candidate that I will be disgusted if he runs and isn’t elected.

  9. ROXIE (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

    As I was told by my Political Communications professor (who has done real work in the field, including for some our own mayor elects), African-Americans as a group (god, I hate being grouped) vote the way people should: On the canidates issues.

    I don’t think it’d would be any problem, as long as Clark can address the issues that affect all groups: education, health care, and affordable housing!

  10. Annie (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 7:53 am

    Roxie – I also hate the group thing. Apologies for that. I am heartened to hear your professor’s thoughts on this.

    I do think, also, that Howard could have trouble on his more conservative economic stances, but that is not a problem for black voters – more a problem for Democrats in general.

  11. d.ortiz (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 9:35 am

    Sorry Annie, I didn’t realize it was so gauche of me to express an opinion. I’ll be sure to ask you before I do it again.

  12. Deb (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

    I’m a yellow dog democrat, but even I’d vote for him. Why not? It is not cheap, he is about spending money wisely and when needed. I think his popularity transends race and I think he would be easily elected. But the question is, could he govern? Or would he be allowed? People from outside the system often have trouble working the system once they are in. Has Clark been around long enough to establish enough connections in the government to be able to make deals and sheppard projects through? I dunno. But I’d vote for him to see what happens!

  13. Annie (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 1:01 pm

    D. Ortiz! Please don’t be mad – I really do love your comments, but you DO come off as a splenetic kind of guy, so I was just kind of dishing it back at ya. Don’t be a stranger – I really do love to hear your opinion.

  14. Annie (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 1:19 pm

    Good questions, Deb. I agree – I just would like to see what would happen with a really honest, genuine person in the office. I think if anyone could work the system, he could do it. He is so likable, without being a pushover.

  15. Mr. T (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 1:47 pm

    He doesn’t take money from advertisers? That’s silliness. How do you think the radio stations that pay him make money? Advertisers that pay a premium to be on during the Clark Howard show, that’s how. Radio programming is advertiser driven and Clark is a product of that. Not saying he’s influenced by it as much as I’m saying let’s not build a statue to the guy just yet.

  16. d.ortiz (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 2:16 pm

    Opinions/spleen shall be dispensed.

  17. abby (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 2:38 pm

    I don’t think Annie meant that Clark’s radio show is not advertiser driven. Just that he isn’t like fellow 750’er Boortz (and Belinda, come to think of it), in commercials raving about Solomon Brothers and gutter cleaners and auto mechanics and whatnot. I kind of like small doses of Boortz, but the commercials ring so hollow it drives me crazy.

    On a funnier note, someone over at Peach Pundit pointed out how Clark Howard as mayor would completely make Atlanta live within its means — picture city employees driving to Birmingham to for Southwest Airline’s cheap flights?

  18. Annie (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

    Mr. T, I think Abby made my point for me, but you do have a good point, too. In fact, I started wondering if he gets any of the revenue from ads on his website, etc, too? I am pretty sure that he claims not to take money from advertisers or endorsements, but after looking around for a while on the net, couldn’t find anything to back that up.

    Concerning statues erected for people, I think they are kinda dumb and outdated in general, but i don’t want to erect a statue to him (or name an airport or street after him, either), but I DO want to see him run for mayor.

    Abby – I think the thought of people driving to Bham for flights is hysterical! Thanks for sharing that one.

  19. Annie (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 3:56 pm

    Ok, i still couldn’t find anything on his stance on endorsements/advertising, but i did find this on his education:

    * Bachelor’s in Urban Government, American University, 1976
    * Master’s in Business Management, Central Michigan, 1977

    Hmmm. . maybe all of this other stuff has all been a clever plot to become Mayor of Atlanta.

  20. Rashid Z. Muhammad (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

    I’m not easily offended, but the idea that black people in Atlanta wouldn’t vote for a white mayor is so ridiculous that I was actually about 10% there. A little old fashioned eye-rolling will have to do here.

    I wouldn’t have a problem with him as a candidate, though from what I’ve seen and read, I don’t see how he would be the drastic change from the status quo that appears to be the buzz about him.

  21. Annie (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 5:19 pm

    I really didn’t mean to offend anyone, Rashid. For what it’s worth, I am not the only one posing this question. I think people in Atlanta do take a lot of pride in their black leadership, and I wonder if they would be willing to give that point of pride up so easily.

    I’m not sure if I follow you on the “drastic change from the status quo that appears to be the buzz about him” part. If by status quo, you mean the corruption we had in Campbell, or the questionable leadership we have had in Franklin? I actually think she has done a decent job overall, esp. with what she has inherited, but there have been questions about her favoritism, and those race pandering campaign ads she was in on made me want to vomit.

    Seems like Howard would be a good change from that sort of thing.

  22. Roxie (unregistered) on May 12th, 2007 @ 11:11 am

    Annie, don’t feel too bad about asking is his race a factor. It’s honest question, however, it seems to be taking some serious root in other discussions–that makes me warry.

    It just dumbfounds me how some people are very resolute in their idea that black people would not vote for him. As a sociology major, I find that incrediably (puzzling) intereting.

  23. Annie (unregistered) on May 12th, 2007 @ 3:08 pm

    Roxie – Note that I didn’t apologize for asking the question, but rather for offending anyone. I DO think it is an honest question. What do you mean about “it taking root in some other discussions?” I didn’t understand what you meant by that.

    If you are referring to me, I am not at all resolute in the idea that black people won’t vote for him. I am just curious what will happen – A candidate like this doesn’t come up all the time, and it would be interesting to see the outcome.

  24. roxie (unregistered) on May 13th, 2007 @ 7:11 am

    I meant other discussions in other forums, on other websites (ajc)

  25. roxie (unregistered) on May 13th, 2007 @ 7:13 am

    I meant other discussions in other forums, on other websites (ajc)

  26. Annie (unregistered) on May 13th, 2007 @ 10:10 am

    Oh, I see what you mean. (Twice!) I really was seriously asking what people thought about the race part of the equation, and I don’t know that you should be wary about people talking honestly about race issues. IMO, it is good for people to discuss these kinds of issues, rather than making them the elephant in the room.

  27. ROXIE (unregistered) on May 13th, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

    I agree about discussing it honestly. It’s just that more than few people seem to be stating it as fact, not inquiry. THAT is what makes me wary.

    Like they’ve go some inside “black” info I didn’t get in my bi-monthly “black memo” or something, sheesh.

  28. Annie (unregistered) on May 14th, 2007 @ 7:53 am

    Ah, I see what you are saying. Yes, it is pretty offensive to say outright that blacks won’t vote for a white, whereas asking if it is a possibility is just being honest.

    I think the point is that old Clark needs to run so we can see what will happen. Of course, even if he lost, it would not mean that it was because Black voters wouldn’t vote for a white man. it might be that they just don’t like his conservative politics.

    Thanks for all of your comments, Roxie – I have enjoyed them.

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