He’s Back. Sims Takes the Stage at the Westin.
The recent speculation that former King County executive Ron Sims is thinking about a run for mayor (here,here, and here, for example) sure got a boost this morning after Sims gave the fundraising pitch at the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition to a packed room at the Westin.
“That was his mayoral kickoff speech for 2013,” local political consultant John Wyble joked with me after I noted that Sims had been on fire. (Wyble, by the way, has been doing some work for McGinn.)
(For the record, let me say that I’ve never been among those who gush over Sims’ speaking style. His earnestness and touchy-feely stuff has always made me a little uncomfortable, as do his endless stream of treacly tweets and Facebook updates. However, the guy is a voracious news junkie: He reads and retweets everything—from Mother Jones to the Guardian to MedPage Today.)
Except for an excessively dreamy aside about the beautiful seagulls, Sims had me this time. He was simultaneously exuberant and serious, charismatic and calm, loud and and quiet—and very funny. (He actually had a Seattle weather joke that totally worked. It’s all in the timing.)
Typical Sims, and still wearing that green and red African bracelet: He tended toward adjectives such as “beautiful” (Dan Evans and Mike Lowry) “invaluable” (Bill Ruckelshaus), and “exceptional” (Seattle) as he urged the city to seize its position as a hotbed of education and creativity. Sims admonished the onset of stasis: “We’re A students, and we should not let the rest of the class hold us back.”
Best line of his booster speech? He joked about how glad he was that he didn’t work at HUD anymore—where his job as deputy director seems to have been a VP type deal as agency ambassador to satellite offices in cities all over the country. He was no longer obliged, he explained, to say how great other cities were when his real feeling (about Gary, Indiana or Chicago, he said) was “why would anyone choose to live here?” He could now, he went on, say that in earnest about his beloved Seattle.
For what it’s worth, I believe Sims, who looks even more fit than when he left town in 2009, when he says he’s still figuring out what’s next. But I do believe running for mayor is on his mind (he will go on about it, if asked) and he was certainly trying it out this morning in his familiar haunt—at a podium in front of cheering Seattleites.