Thursday, June 23, 2011
Mayor's Latest Gaffe Highlights Major Weaknesses
Note to Mayor Greg Ballard:
Fire your prep staff. Do it now. Don't wait 24 hours.
Mayor Ballard showed up to do an interview with Amos Brown on his Afternoons with Amos show on 1310 AM and apparently did not know the gender of the Indianapolis Chapter President of the NAACP. Whoops. It was a moment that one way or another will reflect poorly on the man who wants to be reelected, and it was certainly something I can't see any of the previous Unigov Mayors doing.
Nope. This flub belongs to Ballard, and it's a whopper.
It comes at a time that many in the African-American community are looking at what Mayor Ballard has done for them, and they are asking questions. Whispers of the Ballard Administration's failure to bridge many gaps are now becoming full-throated roars, and they are starting to pick up mainstream momentum.
After the latest mess up, the Baptist Ministers Alliance called a press conference to air its grievances with the Mayor. Some on the right are trying to discredit the BMA, but the BMA isn't the only source that's speaking up on this. I've talked to people from all over the political spectrum that have shared the same kinds of issues with me. From public safety to community relations, Mayor Ballard is failing politics 101. He simply doesn't do this kind of thing well.
It's not too much to expect from the Mayor to get the key players in a respected organization like the NAACP correct when asked, and I think the BMA and others in the community have a case here. Mayor Greg Ballard has a problem, and he's going to have to solve it in the next four months or he not only will lose his office, but he will lose it in a big way. Simply being defiant is not going to even get close solving the issue. Maybe the Mayor doesn't want to solve it. He's happy with writing off a significant number of votes, but that doesn't address the larger issue.
Let me be clear. Mayor Greg Ballard is no racist. Any attempts to portray him as such are absolutely out of line. With that being true, further poorly-prepared appearances on key radio shows, accusatory statements and comments to the media, and a seeming lack of empathy or desire to bridge gaps will only open him up to more criticism on this subject.
Ballard's ship is sinking, and many of the holes in the hull are self-inflicted.