Thursday, 7 April 2011

Bob and Digby fail the Sherman Test

Do Bob Warman or Digby Jones want to be Mayor of Birmingham? Both are fond of the spotlight, are regularly talked about as potential candidates and are doing little to stop the speculation.

At some point all this flirting has to stop though. If neither are interested could I suggest that they take a leaf from William Tecumseh Sherman’s book who put down a benchmark by which all statements on political aspirations should be judged. Sherman became famous as a Union General during the American Civil War, famously raising Georgia to the ground, including the burning of Atlanta during his scorched earth ‘March to the Sea’, which led to the ultimate capitulation of the South.

He was famously straight talking, once declaring that all newspapermen should be shot – an interesting take on media relations strategy I think you’ll agree. However, in order to put to rest any hopes that his supporters had that he would use his popularity in the North to run for the Presidency in the aftermath of the Civil War, he famously declared, “If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve.” Now that is unequivocal!

Both, Bob and Digby therefore currently fail the Sherman Test. One can only conclude that, in the absence of an actual statement, both are interested but are unwilling to formally throw their hats into the ring until they have taken ‘soundings’ or there is a groundswell of popular support.

It must be uncomfortable sitting on that fence!


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