Just because you are a liberal does not necessarily translate into Liberalism being practiced locally. I went to college in Missouri smack dab in the Bible Belt and yet the politicians they would send up to Washington would be liberal! That’s because Tip O’Neil was very right, “All politics is local”. In other words, good constituent services can produce in all likelihood a grateful and appreciative citizenry. Idealists may not like it but that is the hard facts.
If you have a mayor who takes care of the community, all those wacky liberal concepts end up being demonstrated in some ‘other’ place. In other words, people tend to be conservative locally and so your local politics better be in that trend.
Mayor Holaday is an unapologetic liberal – but she is also dealing with the citizens of the City of Newburyport. She’s dealing with real budgets, real businesses, real homeowners, real unions and real local people. And I might add, real issues that are uniquely ours. She has to make sure the government is solvent, the jobs are sustained in government services and the schools are functioning correctly. She has no time to host liberal policy initiatives.
She also has a foul temper. The difference from Mayor Moak and his foul temper was she really cares deeply about the issue she is undertaking. She put her reputation on the line for the paid parking and the school/senior center votes. Each was scary brinkmanship – one slip up and it would have been all over. The dark siders especially on the school vote said she was doomed. The townies declared she would lose. If she looks beat up all the time it’s because she is putting in long hours and taking on the challenges without shirking.
What I am afraid of is the ‘burn-out’ syndrome. Not only will it affect her physically and mentally but it would also mean a dry-up of initiatives. I like a Mayor that cares enough to get things done around here. I think it’s very un-Cannibal City and pretty cool.