Thursday, October 28, 2010

So What Has Made the Difference for Heiner?

How to explain the 13 point swing in Hal Heiner's favor over last month? There are many factors at play. Here are just a few.

First, Greg Fischer made the mistake of calling Heiner a "liar" and a "hypocrite." Both campaigns had refrained from ad hominem attacks up to this point. The fact that Fischer chose to change strategies suggests that his internal polling told him that victory was slipping away from him. Regardless of why he changed strategy, it compounded Fischer's problem by making Fischer look like a jerk, given that he lacked the facts to back up his accusation.

Second, Louisville -- even as configured as Metro Louisville -- is still a small town. We may market ourselves as the 16th largest city or whatever, but we are still a small town. Consequently, our paths cross frequently. We know many of the candidates, from both parties, personally. And if we don't know them personally, we have a good friend or relative who does.

Third, Heiner is known as a man of integrity. Even people who dislike his politics or his place of worship (Southeast Christian) know this. When Fischer accused Heiner of lying about endorsements, therefore, the accusation did not stick. Instead, Fischer appeared to be the one who was lying, given the internal emails in the Jackie Green campaign.

Fourth, Heiner's personal story gives people hope in an economy with 10 percent unemployment -- not counting those who have given up looking or who have taken jobs for which they are over-qualified out of desperation. Heiner is a self-made man. As a teenager, he worked as a janitor. He personifies the American dream with his success. Fischer, in contrast, was lucky enough to be born into a rich family. There is nothing wrong with that, per se; but it does not inspire, the way Heiner's biography does.

At a time when people are looking for someone to lead our city out of an economic abyss, Heiner seems like the better bet, because he has done so in his own life.

1 comment:

Free Man In Kentucky said...

Looks like the CJ is trying to throw him under the bus over nothing.