The Morning After

A mayoral victory speech for all candidates and occasions.



"My fellow Memphians:

"In the aftermath of my historic victory, I look forward to the challenges (insurmountable though they are) of being your mayor (even though most of you didn't vote for me and some of you can't stand me).

"As a compassionate and forgiving leader, my first order of business is burying the hatchet (in my opponents' heads, ha-ha!) and extending the hand (knife) of friendship (vengeance) to my worthy (pitiful) opponents. In the heat of a political campaign, we sometimes (repeatedly) say things we don't really mean (but they sure get out the vote). If my words have offended anyone (King Willie, Boy, Carol the Cranky), I sincerely apologize for suggesting my opponents were unfit for this high office (on drugs, corrupt, a traitor to his race, a social misfit).

"In the coming weeks and months, we must put our differences aside (never in a million years) and work together for the common good (once I figure out what that is).

"The city of Memphis is known throughout the country and the world for its unique attributes (bankruptcy capital, foreclosure capital, tops in violent crime). Indeed, these days one can hardly read a newspaper or watch a television report without learning something new and exciting about our fair city (that makes you cringe). There is nothing like a mayoral campaign to stir the fresh breezes (invective) of open debate (minus the incumbent) and healthy discussion (anonymous slander and spin) that will cleanse (pollute) our great city.

"Now the honeymoon is over (it never began). It is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work (find a good real estate agent).

"Allow me to outline some of the challenges we face. After I am sworn in as your mayor in January, I plan to hit the ground running (to my suite at FedExForum).

"Our city's economy is strong (perilous) and our municipal bond rating is admirably high (thanks to the highest property taxes in the state). There will always be doomsayers, but if home foreclosures stay within manageable levels (don't become as common as political yard signs), then we can expect (hope for) stable revenues in 2008. Our city is growing (thanks to annexation), and, if the (lame-duck) City Council acts, our population will exceed 700,000 after the residents of southeast Shelby County and students at Southwind High School become proud Memphians (kicking and screaming).

"As I said during the campaign, I will restore integrity and a high standard of service to Memphis Light Gas & Water (as soon as I figure out who to appoint as CEO and the board of directors in the wake of the Joseph Lee debacle). With new leadership (pray for warm weather), our citizens can take pride in getting monthly utility bills that are accurate and cost-efficient (even higher than last winter) despite the uncertainties of the markets for oil ($80 a barrel headed to $100), natural gas (a crapshoot), and power from TVA, which has promised to hold its increase to single digits (9 percent).

"I will work tirelessly with the members of the Memphis City Council, which has had considerable turnover (it's about time) and an infusion of fresh faces eager to improve our city (make a name for themselves) and lay aside racial divisions (until the first tough vote).

"If we have learned anything in the last four years, it is the futility (inevitability) of racially divisive comments and the importance of working together (to screw our enemies and solidify our base).

"Nothing is more important than the education of our children, including the 115,000 students in the Memphis City Schools (poor things). As I said during the campaign, as your mayor I will do everything I can to improve public education (which is almost nothing) and will work closely with the superintendent (as soon as a new one is chosen by the school board). Rest assured that your tax dollars that support public education will be closely monitored (increased in order to pay for $450 million in long-term facilities upgrades).

"What exciting (scary) times these are! I can't wait to get to work (on a stiff drink)."

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