Monday, July 28, 2008

Kilpatrick gots to chill

No matter how long I go without checking out the latest news updates from Motown, it always seems as if Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is embroiled in some sort of controversy or fight for his professional life.

Today, the Detroit City Council met to discuss ways to remove Kilpatrick from his seat. That comes along with a request to Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to use her authority to remove Kilpatrick for improper actions in office.

And all this comes on the heels of a recent run-in with a Wayne County Sheriff's deputy who accused Kilpatrick of pushing him, swearing at him and making a number of racial comments.

Elected in 2001 as the youngest mayor in Detroit history, Kilpatrick has since endured the sort of graceless descent reserved for only a precious few like Roger Clemens or Eliot Spitzer. In many ways, Kilpatrick might be doomed to create an embarrassing mayoral legacy along the lines of someone like D.C.'s Marion Barry.
You know things are especially bad when one of the local newspapers has a number of links to stories involving your troubles, collectively titled "A Mayor in Crisis."

I can't even begin to presume what keeps the man going in the face of these odds, the endless criticism, this horrific decline. What possibly motivates him to return to his seat in City Hall everyday?

If he indeed has any true friends left, they should be telling him to fade into the background as quickly and cleanly as possible. Kilpatrick is only creating more animus with this lengthy and costly legal fight. He still has enough time for a second act - even Barry overcame images of himself smoking crack in a dingy hotel room with his mistress to retake public office.

Before it's too late (and that may already be the case), the man once dubbed the "Hip Hop Mayor" should take a cue from EPMD: He gots to chill.

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