Shirley Franklin

It’s no secret I’m a Republican, though I’ve voted for Democrats in the past. But, I was not enamored with Shirley Franklin when she ran for election. I thought she was too connected to the outgoing administration to be any good. Boy was I wrong.

More jobs, thriving businesses, fewer homeless people and better public schools.

Those were Shirley Franklin’s central pledges in seeking another four-year term as Atlanta’s mayor.

And Tuesday, the politician seen as one of the nation’s most respected big-city mayors appeared well-positioned to deliver on those promises. Early results showed Franklin far outdistancing her lesser-known rivals.

Many observers saw Franklin’s re-election as a sure bet. Some of the wealthiest names in the city and state supported her campaign, and it didn’t hurt that U.S. News & World Report recently named her one of America’s “best leaders.” That recognition came months after Time magazine called her one of the country’s five best mayors.

I have been genuinely pleased with Franklin’s leadership. I think most Democrat mayors of big cities eventually run them into the ground. New York, for example, had to have Rudy rescue it. Franklin, on the other hand, should fairly be considered the gold standard for urban Democrat leadership in the country.

11 comments

  1. Joeventures says:

    Franklin, on the other hand, should fairly be considered the gold standard for urban Democrat leadership in the country.

    Not quite, but close. Ed Rendell in Philadelphia came into his administration with even worse circumstances than Shirley had to deal with. Check out “A Prayer for the City” by Buzz Bissinger.

  2. Bill Simon says:

    The City WAS run into the ground by her predecessor, Bill Campbell.

    With any luck, no one is fudging the crime statistics (like they did during Campbell’s term) and there isn’t as much blatant cronyism taking place. Unless, perhaps, Cynthia Tucker and Julia Wallace over at the AJC are playing the “good ‘ole girl” game of not touching Franklin’s administration with too much digging into possible cronyism.

  3. GAWire says:

    So many folks out there are willing to burn people like DeLay, Newt, Sonny, etc at the stake for ethics violations, but somehow Shirley Franklin gets off the hook for her issues. Also, while there has been some reduction in crime; I still question her leadership on issues like resolving Atlanta’s and Fulton Co’s water and sewer problems. I wasn’t too surprised to see the percentages in the Atl Mayor race last night b/c I know somewhat how voting demographics and history work in the city of Atl, but I am a little baffled how people see Shirley Franklin as such an effective leader.

  4. Harry says:

    It’s all about perception and image. I’m jaded enough to like her just because she’s on top of her game.

  5. buzzbrockway says:

    I agree that Franklin has done a good job. I think the most important thing she has done is restore confidence in the Mayor’s office. If she can attract business to Atlanta she will have done a good thing.

  6. Ben King says:

    GAWire – um, what are you talking about? First, the percentages in the race have nothing to do with demographics or history. She didn’t have a serious challenger, period. The number two vote getter was a food stand vendor and a gadfly.

    Also, is it possible that Franklin simply doesn’t have serious ethical issues like Delay, Newt, Sonny, Reed, et al.? Maybe that is another explanation.

    Also, I simply think you are nuts to say that you question her leadership on water and sewer stuff. I would say that largely, that is WHY no one challenged her. People see her as having taken on an unpopular issue with difficult solutions (higher fees, for example), and done ‘what is right for the city’. Why is that baffling? Erick and Buzz understand why she’s so popular.

    I’m not saying that she’s perfect. I’m just saying that your take on the election is total bunk. I’m guessing you don’t live in the city? I don’t mean that as an insult or that it means you are stupid. But it would explain why you don’t ‘get’ Shirley Franklin.

  7. GAWire says:

    I will admit the water/sewer problem is partially a county issue, but it is first and foremost a City of Atlanta issue and let’s be clear on this: Atlanta gov’t (i.e. Mayor Franklin) has done absolutely NOTHING to resolve that issue.

    If you prefer tax increases, millions of city dollars thrown away in shotty investments (i.e. embezzled), corruption swirling through city gov’t, residents and businesses moving out of the city at alarming rates, etc then, by all means – support Shirley Franklin.

  8. Silence says:

    Memberg, pure partisan bullcrap. I’m as dyed in the wool Republican as they come, and Franklin’s one of my heros…she’s done an incredible job, kind of similar to Sonny’s situation, in that she was elected and thrown face first into a pile of crap…she’s done extremely well in handling it.

  9. Ben King says:

    ::hat tip to Silence::

    I just wonder what people will be saying when she’s not polling out the wazoo in the suburbs. Well, I know what GAWire will be saying….

  10. memberg says:

    Silence, you may think I’m full of “bullcrap,” but it’s hardly partisan. Can you specify some of her “incredible” accomplishments?

    And about Sonny…I disagree that he was thrown into a pile of crap, but I find it ironic that he always has that stupid sh*t-eating grin on his face.

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