Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Into the Blogosphere, DC’s Mayor Goes

Well, well. Now I’ve seen it all.

Actually, that is an overstatement. I have not seen the much anticipated Snoop Dogg-Clay Aiken remake of “Free Bird” come to pass. Flying cars, Bin Laden behind bars, and green men from Mars have all eluded me.

And I have yet to see a lingerie-wearing, lust-propelled Angelina Jolie at my door.

But I HAVE lived long enough to see Washington D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams start a personal blog.

Right now, I hear many voices saying to me that it is not so unusual for politicians to have blogs. (OK, I know it’s just you and your multiple personalities, Larry.) But it is indeed unusual for a DC mayor to be literate enough to put his virtual balls on the virtual table, leading me to read the entries and pass on the following observations:

#1: You will not find our man Tony’s picture next to “prolific” in the dictionary. It has been ten days, and he has put up only two posts. Wise observers will recognize that the mayor of the nation’s capital cesspool is a bit busier than David Amulet … but I still say that once a week does not cut it.

#2: His posts, both of them, have been pretty much what one might expect from a bow-tie wearing public administrator. His debut posed such questions as, “What is a blog anyway?” and “Is it an almanac capturing my far flung and scattered interests in fields ranging from ornithology to baseball?”

#3: Mayor Williams is seeking to start out on a good foot with his peeps by declaring that his personal blog will “serve a useful purpose in connecting me and the citizens I serve.”

This last one really grabs you, doesn’t it? How sweet.

How nice of him to reach out and play with us online … while Washington continues to endure more murders per capita than nearly any other large city in America.

Almost 200 homicides in 2004. Twenty-four murders in the last eight weeks alone. And these figures are considered GOOD for the District, compared to the even more alarming carnage of the past twenty years.

Please don’t get me wrong—I like a leader who is in touch with his or her electorate. I actually think Anthony Williams is a relatively good chief executive for the District. At least this Washington leader has avoided headlines with the words “videotape,” “crack,” and “arrest” next to his name.

But a mayor who spends time on his blog warning readers of future “disgusting comments” and creating “quasi prime directives” (no, I am not kidding) simply creates the perception that he would rather type musings on his laptop than help his constituents dodge the bullets speeding through their bedroom windows.

Not to mention that in his latest post, Williams paraphrases Yoda.

That’s MY turf, Tony. Step off.



At August 25, 2005 6:40 PM, Blogger Ken replied to my musings ...

Do you think a blog is something that an elected official should have? Any idea how many in the US have attempted it and have consistently posted over a long period?

I think a few blog posts a week from an elected official is useful (if the posts are done by the official and not be his staff).

At least with those Star Trek and Star Wars references, you know it's not being done by his staff....

At August 28, 2005 5:55 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Either that, or some smart-ass on his staff is trying to make him look like a sci-fi geek ... probably not a good career move. -- d.a.

At October 01, 2005 8:21 PM, Blogger David replied to my musings ...

In response to Ken's question, "do you think a blog is something that an elected official should have?"

Not if you think the purpose of a blog is to get something other than the official scoop.

In Charlotte, NC where I live, the mayor occasionally guest hosts on talk radio, which is equally pointless.

At October 03, 2005 6:06 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

I have to agree with you there -- most of the politicans-on-talk-radio sessions I have heard are quite bland, even when they are guests! It is useful, I suppose, for the official to get his/her point across, but that should not be confused with objective political discourse.

David A.


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