The campaign has attracted the attention of many beyond Akron who are puzzled by the inexplicable siege on a mayor who as led the city to many honors. Indeed, Brent Larkin, the recently retired editorial director of the Plain Dealer , asserted in a Sunday column what I also believe:
"For the record, Plusquellic does offend. he's no Mr. Cogeniality. He is combative, acerbic and thin-skinned. Oh, he is one more thing: He is, by far, Ohio's best big-city mayor."
That won't impress the aginners who would risk losing a usually successful chief executive for...well, we don't really know, do we?
Over the the many years of working in Akron's political arena, I haven't always agreed with Plusquellic - and he hasn't always agreed with me. With similar temperaments, we were bound to bump into each other. But I grew to respect his style, convinced that he always had the best interests of his city at heart even when he erupted against a critic. As a political writer, I watched the mayor's service evolve as an idea-activist who, as Larkin noted, was not afraid to fail.
Well, with Tuesday's election arriving, I never thought I would be defending a feisty mayor who is perfectly capable of defending himself. As the panoply of corporate, business, professional and labor supporters lined up behind him, it should be obvious that he has been doing something right. That has left Mendenhall with nothing more than to boast wildly of a hair-thin endorsement of the recall by the Fraternal Order of Police. Some lonely mandate, huh?
I've felt from the outset that Plusquellic will survive the recall. I've seen nothing to change my mind.