How Many Lives Does One Pat Have?

The Nose

No more endless forums! No more tongue-tied kooks. No more moderator dirty looks! Finally, Dear Readers, The District’s latest gladiatorial contest has ended.

It was, according to some political pundits, to be the year of the perfect Republican storm. Yes, finally all the stars in the firmament had aligned. Progressives, unable to do simple arithmetic, were running multiple candidates. Michael “The Real” Brown and Anita “Chocolate City Mamma” Bonds looked to split the city’s eastern wards. Most importantly, in Patrick “Third Time’s The Charm,” Mara, Republicans thought that they had found a socially liberal, fiscally conservative candidate acceptable to the electorate.

What went wrong?

To begin with, Brown exited the race permitting Bonds to campaign on her appearance and Democratic affiliation. Tipping her hand with a gaffe on Kojo, she deftly worked at turning out her base in the city’s eastern wards, ignoring Upper, Lower and Outer Caucasia completely. At the end, Bonds absented herself from the forums entirely. Instead, she worked hard in the Wilson Building to earn the endorsements of her colleagues receiving nods from Vincent “CBE” Orange, Jack “Undersight” Evans, Muriel “Girl on Fire” Bowser, Yvette “Miss Congeniality” Alexander, Marion “Mayor for Life” Barry, and Kenyan “Newbie” McDuffie.

The media, by and large, gave Bonds a pass. There was little or no discussion of her paltry legislative record. Her budget busting plan to exempt senior seniors from taxes was met with silence. No one examined her lobbying activities at Fort Myers Construction, a major city contractor. The narrowness of her campaign received little editorial notice. While none of this might have dissuaded her base, these issues were certainly relevant to her candidacy.

Only 9.3% of voters turned out for the 2013 Special Election. Bonds won with a margin of 2,314 votes out of a total of 49,869--a razor thin margin of victory that was just 4.6 percent of those who voted. The media allowed Bonds to ‘ghost’ her way through the campaign winning with just 3 percent of entire District electorate.

Shame on our vanishing profession!

Bonds would be wise to take up the mantel of the sainted David A. Clarke, a former occupant of her seat. Clarke, famous for his bicycle-seated campaigning, was intimately acquainted with the byways of all eight wards. At a time when the chocolate was truly the city’s sweet, he ignored no one and asked everyone for their vote. She will have an opportunity next year to do the same.

While Bonds quietly took care of business, the media focused its attention on Mara. Endorsed ad nauseam by the Washington ComPost, beloved by the DC Chamber of Commerce, they portrayed him as likely, in his own words, to unite “the reform vote,” a supposed coalition of Independent and Democratic voters determined to throw out incumbents.

The “reform vote’ seems to have been a figment of Mara’s imagination. Despite very little media attention to issues, District voters recognized that real policy differences existed between Mara and his Democratic opponents such as Elissa “Take No Corporate Handouts” Silverman and Matthew “The Man from Upper Caucasia” Frumin.

When ComPost reporters unearthed a dodgy consulting contract late in the race, Mara lost his ethical cloak; and momentum swung behind Silverman. Yet, her candidacy was doomed by a divided progressive vote and large margins for Bonds in Wards 7 and 8.

The rest, as they say, is history.

So, here for your edification, Dear Readers, is a rendition of “The Cat Came Back,” liberally altered to fit the District’s unique political ecology:

The business community hated paying employees when sick.
Carol Schwartz’s support of sick-leave really got them ticked
So, they handpicked the Pat while the incumbent was asleep
Piling on independent expenditures in a massive heap.
That ol' race burst apart and the Pat lost in a mudslide.
With his ears chewed off by the Browns and holes in his hide...

But the Pat came back
The next election that old Pat came back.
Thought he was a goner, but the Pat came back.
`Cause he just couldn't stay away.

DC Democratic pols had troubles of their own.
And that pesky 'moderate' Republican refused to stay home.
Tried everything they knew to do to keep the Pat away.
Sent him up to Board of Education and told him to stay...

But the Pat came back.
The next election that old Pat came back.
Thought he was a goner, but the Pat came back.
`Cause he just couldn't stay away.

On the dais, councilmembers were sitting in a bunch.
The Pat saw Miss Anita, thought he'd have her for his lunch.
Climbed softly up the polls until he reached the top
When an old consulting contract, tied him in a knot...

Will the Pat be back?
In 2014 will that old Pat be back?
Even the Republicans think the Pat is a goner, but will the Pat be back?
`Cause he just can't ever stay away.

How many lives does one Pat have?

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