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Monday, October 15, 2012

Smith's many other victims

We feel sorry for the woman whom Portland mayoral joke candidate Jefferson Smith punched in the face 18 years ago, but we feel almost as sorry for the graduating class of 2012 at the U of O, who had to listen to that windbag as its commencement speaker. What an inspirational moment, not. Who in the administration down there gets credit for that selection?

Comments (11)

It's not like they have piles of money down there to squander on some high-profile individual. Oh, wait . . . .

Although I'll be writing in Eileen Brady for Mayor, Jefferson Smith is one of the most charismatic and inspirational speakers I've heard. You can knock him for his deficits, but public speaking is definitely not one of them.

"Who in the administration down there gets credit for that selection?"

The football team - They can identify with his struggles in relating to others.

I think maybe they were equating it to Obama's speech at the DNC in 2004. Give old Nutsy a launching pad to things WAY beyond keeping PDX weird.

You've got to be kidding. He's Oregon's answer to Newt Gingrich with the bloviating. Even his allies admit he tends to run his mouth.

You know, after Newt won South Carolina, I was so concerned I wrote a song about it. Newt faded in Florida so I just amended the lyrics to be about Newt and Jefferson Smith since the Newtster reminds me of him so much.

Check it out. It went up in February of 2012. Jack may have gotten to the Bus Project finances, and the driving first, but I don't think anyone in Portland saw through Jefferson Smith's act sooner or more completely than I did.

It's called "Smart Talking Fool"
Sample lyric: "Paragraphs just fall from your mouth. Seasons change and the birds fly south."


I had some extended family attend that ceremony. I asked them what they thought of Jefferson as the speaker, and without knowing anything about him or his history, they said they found it pretty enjoyable, for what it was. It's a commencement speech, not the Gettysburg Address - people expect long-winded 'bloviating' Just his cup of tea.

We got Mark Hatfield.

Sheesh. Times are indeed tough down there right now.

Shouldn't Phil Knight do the speech every year?

We had John Frohnmayer.

You can knock him for his deficits, but public speaking is definitely not one of them.

Gallagher is also a great performer, but he's not a graduation speaker. Usually that's reserved for someone whom the students should emulate. Not in this case. Yuck.

I've taken to the search function to relive some of the early days of the Jefferson Smith run. You definitely were onto him from the beginning. In fact, I used your stuff as research for my interview. One of my questions compared your analysis of his finances at the Bus Project to the human genome project. I still think that's funny.

What I brought to it in academic terms was the field trip. You did the research, I went and confronted the candidate, then returned to report it was much worse than previously thought. I then became one of the founding spokespeople for the "Jefferson Smith Sucks" movement.

That was a less crowded place than it is now. In fact, until Max Brumm joined in, I felt like I was viewed as somewhat demented or driven by anger about it, but I was just on the cutting edge of figuring this out. I had no knowledge of any of the developments we've seen lately. I just grocked it from what an unpleasant bastard he was to be around. The twisted debris of his problems lies about him in an invisible scrap heap. It was obvious his image was the worst kind of con game, duping the young and idealistic. In short he was a dangerous jerk.

Check out how this part of one of my comment holds up, written back in May on the night Smith won one of the 2 spots in the primary:

"I loved it tonight when one TV reporter was talking to Jefferson Smith, and tried to say, 'You're here celebrating with all your supporters' and Jefferson immediately corrected her to clarify that this wasn't all his supporters.

He then realized that his inner dick was showing and switched to a lame joke. The downside of Jefferson Smith beating Eileen Brady is that his campaign goes on, but maybe the extra time will give the less perceptive Portlanders out there a chance to figure out what a loser the guy really is. Then maybe he'll lose in November in a way where he never runs for office in Portland again. That would make tonight a tremendous win.

Meanwhile, Charlie Hales represents a type of Portland spending frenzy that could go away on its own. It could be overtaken by events, and he could have no choice but to serve Portlanders rather than Homer - pictured tonight in the shorts. Incidentally, that's a famous garment he was wearing. Usually it's Portland taking it in the shorts, but tonight Homer was actually parading around in them.

The win part could be that Charlie becomes Mayor and has an epiphany based on changing circumstances. I think in times like these you take the adult over the problem child."

I still believe that.

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