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Published: Tuesday, 8/24/2004

Ludeman, Ford contest may bring back the past

Headline from yesterday's newspaper:

Councilman Ludeman to explore mayoral bid.

District 2 Republican Rob Ludeman is cobbling together what he calls an "exploratory committee" to check out his prospects of becoming the next Toledo mayor.

Oh, great.

Just great.

Quick: Name one important initiative that's come from Mr. Ludeman.

Yeah. See?

No one else I asked could do it, either.

Oh, this is no knock against Mr. Ludeman.

Personally, he's a likeable guy, a decent man, as best we can tell.

And for all we know, Rob Ludeman might be the best policymaker to ever pass through Toledo.

We can't really say, though, because we can't really remember too terribly much about his city council tenure.

And that's the trouble.

If Mr. Ludeman is what the Lucas County Republican party is going to toss out there into the mayoral campaign, then let me just warn everyone right now: Get ready for Carty, The Sequel.

Rob Ludeman facing off for mayor next year against incumbent Jack Ford would make for a fierce and mighty battle between gray and beige. Mayoral Race 2005: The Greige Election.

Yawn.

You know I'm right. You just don't want to admit it. Heck, neither do I.

It is troublesome to admit just how much nowadays politics is the triumph of personality over ideas. The current voter motto might as well be Amuse Me, Or Else.

And that is one reason I fear (and "fear" is quite the right word) that any kind of showdown between Rob and Jack leaves the door w-i-d-e open for Toledo's former mayor and very own Mr. Personality, Carleton S. Finkbeiner.

Toledoans, I ask you: Has there ever been anything more amusing in this city than Carty?

When and if Rob and Jack begin their campaigns, the monotone of a hypnotist's voice will blanket the city.

Try though we might to fight it, the soundtrack in the back

of our collective head will be: You are getting very very sleepy.

Envision, if you will, the televised candidate debates we like to have around here. In my mind's eye, I'm seeing the media-elite questioners nodding off like Dorothy in the poppy field - but no one will notice, because through sheer professionalism they will have stayed awake longer than the average voter.

Now imagine that shrill alarm clock known as Carty Finkbeiner entering the fray.

As we already know so well, with Carty you have to pay close attention, since there's no telling what might come out of his mouth next.

Toledoans will vote for him out of sheer gratitude!

A Ludeman-Ford race is all the opening Carty needs to reclaim his beloved 22nd floor city hall office.

Could our long municipal nap soon be over?



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