The last time I talked at length to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, late last summer, he said two things that convinced me he wasn’t going to run for re-election this year.
After talking at length about the city’s dreary financial picture and his struggles with an often irrational the City Council, I asked him where he liked to go out to eat. “Troy,” he said, without a moment‘s hesitation. “There are so many good places to eat in Troy.”
Trouble is, Troy is not part of Detroit; it is a mostly affluent, largely white suburb miles from the city limits. Eventually, noticing an aide staring at him, he added “oh, there’s that good new place on Livernois,” which is in Detroit. But he couldn’t remember its name.
The mayor is also a dapper dresser, known for his perfectly fitting suits. I wondered where he got them. “Windsor,“ he said firmly. “The only place to go for suits is Windsor.””
When a mayor of Detroit is happy to tell a reporter that he eats in the suburbs and buys his clothes in another country, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to conclude that he isn’t running.
So I was mildly surprised when the mayor picked up petitions last week that he’ll file if he does decide to run.
Taking out the petitions doesn’t mean anything in itself. Bing has until May 14 to decidw whether or not he will be a candidate for another four-year term.
But I still think the odds are that he won’t run. Nor, frankly, should he.
Not because he has done a terrible job. Dave Bing will be remembered as a man who brought decency, honesty and integrity to the office, after the sewer that it became under the vulgar and corrupt administration of Kwame Kilpatrick.