Meanwhile, Northlander Mary De Shon says she is running, and City Councilman Paul Danaher says he is, too. At Danaher's campaign kickoff last week, beside the Lewis and Clark statue at Eighth and Jefferson, his family members and conservative State Representative Susan Phillips took their places quickly. Cranky neighborhood activists Dennis O'Neill and Mark Esping followed.
Danaher took in the scene and made adjustments: directing friends to hold his banner higher; asking longtime friend Bob Motley, the only black in attendance, to stand in view of TV cameras.
Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" blared, but Hispanic activist Susan Ramirez requested the Who. "Paul, where's 'Won't Get Fooled Again'?"
Danaher introduced his heroic mother (she had sixteen children!) and claimed that big-family life has prepared him for politics: "I learned how to take it from my older brothers ... I learned how to dish it out to my younger brothers. And, with my sisters, I learned how to treat women proper."
Just as his speech was getting good -- when he said, "I have been a big fan of Mayor Kay Barnes, I supported her from the beginning, but ..." -- Bobby Grow, son of Westport Neighbors United president Jim Grow, collapsed behind Danaher.
Danaher did what any sensible politician with a bunch of cameras trained on him would do: He knelt and stayed at the kid's side until help arrived.
Help, of course, was a crew of firefighters, who, remarkably, didn't even flinch when they saw Danaher, who had loudly protested their recent pay raise.
As the crew wheeled the boy away (doctors would find nothing wrong), Danaher returned to the podium, gestured toward the fire truck and tried his hand at stand-up comedy: "I would like to thank the fire department for their full support."