I was truly sad to read news this morning concerning outgoing Mayor Paul Soglin.
In what can only be termed the snarkiest move yet played by Soglin, there is evidence to suggest he has no intention of attending Tuesday’s swearing-in of his successor, Satya Rhodes-Conway, along with the new city council. One need not agree with how campaigns are conducted, policy proposals placed before voters, or political tactics taken leading up to an election, but once the voters have made their choice it is incumbent for the whole of the governing establishment to gather to inaugurate new leaders.
What Soglin has planned is just not the way mature people conduct themselves when they accept the responsibility which comes when seeking the will of the people at the ballot box. While this city has often witnessed the petulant side of Soglin this is perhaps his most embarrassing display.
Upon reading the article my mind went back to the pages of history I love so much. My backward trek stopped in 1801 as Thomas Jefferson was to be sworn in as our nation’s third president. His predecessor, President John Adams, had scattered from the new capital city hours before the inauguration. It remains one of the most difficult to understand self-created smudges on his national story.
In much the same way Soglin creates an imagine of someone who has not taken his loss with dignity. There is no honor lost in entering the political arena and not winning. There is much more to glean from the manner in which a person stands when coming short of a goal, than how the same person responds with a victory. That instruction from youth is one that should never lose its place in the course of life.
When that lesson is lost it makes for a most unbecoming part of the memories of otherwise colorful and credible personalities. I trust that someone close to Paul Soglin will encourage a change of his thinking come Tuesday.
After all Soglin should know he is playing to the history books.