Travel Back to 2011 With Leaked Strategy Memo From Charlie Hales' Campaign
In politics, a year isn't just a year. It's a lifetime. And yesterday, whilst trying to navigate the inevitably bumpy re-entry that follows a long vacation, I was delivered a fascinating political document/relic that perfectly drove home that point. Matter-of-factly titled "KEY FACTORS THAT BEAR ON THE MAYOR'S RACE," it's a strategy memo (PDF) crafted last summer by Charlie Hales' proto-campaign for mayor. You remember last summer, don't you? Eileen Brady was still the likely front-runner. Mayor Sam Adams hadn't officially decided to sign off as a one-termer. And Jefferson Smith, who knocked out Brady in May to make the runoff against Hales, was still down in Salem, looking at the unfolding race and licking his chops. It's not the juiciest document. It's mostly a snapshot of a political landscape that's long shifted, with no smoking guns about Hales. But because it offers a rare, unvarnished look into the thinking of a campaign, it's still interesting. And if you look closely enough, you can see the themes of the race that followed this memo already starting to coalesce. EXPERIENCE: Hales, on the stump, also makes much of his previous tenure on the city council, saying his stint as commissioner makes him uniquely prepared to lead Portland as mayor. He makes that point now when comparing his record to Smith's time in the Legislature, but the Hales memo, since it's from a year ago, savages Brady in particular. The gist is that since Steve Novick and Mary Nolan would win their respective council races (the memo said Nolan would "almost certainly beat" incumbent Amanda Fritz; that very much remains to be seen), Brady would be have no chance to assert herself against such strong characters.
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Aug. 14, 2012
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