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Friday, June 3, 2011

Mayor Ed Lee's No-Drama Governing Style Is Proof He Won't Run for Mayor

Posted By on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 2:45 PM

click to enlarge He's not running for mayor and happy about it
  • He's not running for mayor and happy about it

Just this week, we learned about yet another grassroots movement to push interim Mayor Ed Lee into running for San Francisco mayor.

And while Lee remains unwavering in his decision not to run, reporters continue to ask him compulsively, "Are you planning to run for mayor?"

So here is something that may persuade those suspicious journalists who won't let it go. Here is one more reason to believe Lee won't be on the November ballot: He's drama-free.

It's hard not to admire Lee's uncanny ability to push through legislation, even controversial stuff like the Twitter deal, without a pissing match. What's even more refreshing was his showing this week, when he managed to unveil a meager budget that incited nothing more than a group hug at City Hall.

But that's the thing about having no political aspirations; you don't have to engage in City Hall warfare. "He might be stabbing people in the chest, but he's not doing it through press conferences and the media," says Jim Ross, a local consultant. "People know it's not political or personal."

That speaks volumes about Lee's political future. Because he doesn't want to run for mayor, people -- even union leaders -- trust him. City Hall insiders say that means he comes off as more honest, without all the baggage and ulterior motives.

"Any mayor -- Gavin Newsom, Willie Brown, and even Dianne Feinstein -- who wants to run for higher office or wants to be reelected sees there are political reasons to create conflict in governing," Ross tells SF Weekly. "Creating conflict can be useful, because you have to have an 'us' and you have to have a 'them.'"

So what will it take for reporters and the like to believe that Lee won't be running for office? Perhaps if he publicly told Rose Pak -- the Chinatown Chamber leader who pushed him into the interim mayor position -- to fuck off.

But then again, that would be Lee creating conflict. 

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert has been Online News Editor for SF Weekly since 2010. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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