If anyone was hoping Mayor Mike McGinn appearance during Occupy Seattle's general assembly this evening would help erase a week's worth of political blunders, they must be disappointed.
Rolf, Rockin' It.
It's not that McGinn said anything that was freshly horrifying—he didn't announce that SPD would be confiscating protesters' hats and footwear tonight, on top of their tents and umbrellas—it's that he had the misfortune of following a fiery speech by David Rolf, a spokesman for the local health care labor union.
Rolf knew what a cold, wet, tired crowd of protesters needs to hear: the kind of pep talk that makes you forget how cold and wet and motherfucking tired you are. He urged people to continue standing up to politicians from both parties who, for years, have been "collaborating through malice and deceit" with Wall Street bankers to steal all of the nation's wealth and resources "while the rest of us get pink slips and foreclosure notices." He encouraged people to have hope; to think of Egypt's ousting of President Mubarak and practice "simple, peaceful acts of strength and solidarity" with messaging like: "Wall Street, Enough."
Rolfing the crowd.
In contrast, McGinn's comments were brief, generic, and rather uninspiring.
"Let's pretend for a moment that my words are worth 1,000 mimes, backpedaling..."
Citing $2 billion in cuts to education and social services that Olympia legislators will make in order to balance the state's budget, McGinn asked, "Is that going to make our economy better?"
To which the crowd responded, "No."
The mayor then encouraged the crowd to "keep organizing. Don't just fight to speak up, fight to elect the right people, and fight to hold them accountable." And that was basically it.
I've seen McGinn capture crowds with his speeches. This wasn't one of those times.