Politics Re: Ben Noble
Picking a new director for the city council’s central staff gave council a chance to put a savvy politico in the slot. For example, over at the County Council, they have a chief of staff whose main role is political rather than policy oriented. And so: The King County Council often routs County Executive Ron Sims, just like they did last week in the office move debate.
At the city, part of the reason Team Ceis runs circles around the city council is because council’s policy wing is so zoomed in on policy wonkery that they get out-foxed by the mayor’s political machine, which tends to focus on the bigger political picture instead of the righteousness of the details. This is because the council’s central staff chief is usually more a policy-head than a politics-head.
In picking Ben Noble, the wonkiest (smartest?) guy I’ve ever met (guarantee Noble got 1600 on his SATs—or at least 800 on the math portion), it may appear that Council President Nick Licata and crew blew an opportunity—opting for wonkery over Machiavelli(y).
Noble’s a double threat. The guy isn’t only smart as hell, but he’s also a subtle political operator.
P.s. To my smartest (and best) friend Tom N. It’s true. Ben’s as good as you at the math. Plus, (just like you) he can explain it to math dyslexics like me.