Capitulation 2007

1. The stated reason for Councilman Bill Peduto’s early withdrawal from the race for mayor is complete bunk.

Conflict is the essence of democratic politics, and of social evolution. The petty scandals he bemoans all reflect issues of substance, and issues we plainly ought to be addressing. Rick Earle’s indignation is righteous, not sensational. Bill Peduto is not such a pious neophyte that this can’t be clear to him.

2. The theory of a tactical Bill Peduto withdrawal for the purposes of later reengaging as an Independant is complete bunk.

Peduto’s ties with national Democratic movements run too deep, and he is too young to risk it all on such a maneuver. In addition, he must have anticipated the backlash of disillusionment as evidenced in the P-G editorial, not to mention the People’s Republic and the Lesbian Correspondents. He knows that trust won’t return easily.

3. The theory of a mere surrender to the inevitable is not likely.

Yes, Peduto had a short time to make up a lot of ground, and he had scarce campaign funds to make it happen. On any other day, surrender would have been a no-brainer.

But on the very day the entire media was suffering a mass hysterical negative reappraisal of Luke Ravenstahl? Like a few of them wouldn’t have been suddenly inclined to feature long, favorable examinations of wonkish Peduto policy? If he had been intending surrender, certainly the Ravenstahl firestorm would have given him pause at least through Monday.

4. Bill Peduto might have withdrawn for reasons elsewhere … elusive.

Maybe something arose with his family, or his personal life. Maybe he really does have a kind of depression or anxiety, that manifests itself in lackluster campaigning, so he’s sparing himself further trauma. Maybe he’s coming down with strep throat again.

Maybe someone made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. The Comet is loathe to engage in such wild-eyed speculation — but we’re running out of bullet-points.

5. Bill Peduto might have gotten sick of this city and is preparing to seek other opportunities.

This is the last thing we can think of. His frustration seems real enough — with the local Democratic committee, with the media, with the “machine.” Maybe he sees an opportunity opening up in Congress, or in the state legislature. Maybe he’s going to hook up with a presidential or senatorial candidate, and go back to behind-the-curtain politics.

6. We’ll never know just what caused Bill Peduto to switch off the Rocky soundtrack, and break out the violins.

We’ll never know how the Bob O’Connor administration would have turned out.

And we’ll never know how a Bill Peduto administration might turn out. Ever.

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