Mike Tomlin for Mayor of Pittsburgh?

News that Patrick Dowd (sorry-typo in the original version of the post) will try to unseat Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl prompts me to revisit a question that I've asked from time to time at Pittsblog, in various forms.

Who are the great leaders in Pittsburgh?

This person should have compelling personal integrity, stirring rhetorical powers, the ability to articulate a meaningful vision of the future and to inspire people to mobilize themselves to achieve it, the insight to appoint talented colleagues and co-workers and the wisdom to let them flourish, and the discipline to distinguish the obligation of a leader to strategize and plan from the services required to implement plans day-to-day.

Oh --and the quality that is often missing locally but that Pittsburgh needs more than any other: The willingness to speak truth to power.

I don't know whether Mike Tomlin actually would do a good job as Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh. He already has a job, with more income, job security, and public praise than most politicians ever achieve. But he certainly appears smart enough for the job, and as coach of the Steelers he has demonstrated (to me, at least) that the man is a gifted leader.

Does he have counterparts in Pittsburgh's public sphere?


3 Responses to "Mike Tomlin for Mayor of Pittsburgh?"

Jerry said... 2/18/2009 1:05 AM

There must be at least a few people around who fit that description, but if they are not well-known, should they even bother running?

I sometimes think the best possibility for the city is that an ex-Steeler run as a Republican and win. Even if he's a poor mayor and lasts only one term, it will help break up the Democratic monopoly and hopefully clear some space for a good mayor, not beholden to the ACDC, to run.

Why an ex-Steeler? That's likely to be the only person available with the name recognition to win.

Schultz said... 2/18/2009 7:09 PM

I would say Franco Harris. Not only is Franco a former Steeler and city of Pittsburgh resident, but he is at least fairly active in politics and he did do a lot of stumping for Obama in and around Pittsburgh.

Jefferson Provost said... 2/20/2009 1:04 AM

Hmmm. That's a tough one.

How about Mark Nordenberg? He seems to have done a pretty good job with Pitt since he's been there.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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