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The Daily Sam: A Challenge to San Francisco’s Other Mayoral Candidates
Sam Barry for Mayor bumper sticker

I am a big-picture guy. I say big-picture guy because “big-picture man” sounds like a job description:

The Pope: We need someone to clean the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
The Pope’s Secretary: I know a guy who knows a big-picture man. You want me to send up a smoke signal?

Anyhow, when I say I am a big-picture guy, I mean it metaphorically—which is not to say that I am not a can-do guy. I am both a can-do guy and a take-charge fellow.

This is why I think I am the humanoid biped to lead San Francisco into the future. I’d also be perfectly willing to lead it into the past, or just keep it right here in the present. I think the voters should decide about that, and everything else. You see, I know that a politician’s job is to say exactly what the majority of the people want to hear, regardless of what he or she actually does.

To that end, when I am elected, I promise I will meet you in your local restaurants and bars and listen to your views over meals and drinks. For ethical reasons I won’t be able to pick up the check. Because I am a steward of public funds—your money—such behavior would be wrong. And thank you in advance for a delightful evening.

And speaking of delightful evenings—this coming Tuesday, September 13 my official campaign band, Los Train Wreck, will be conducting its monthly fund raising campaign at San Francisco’s #1 dive bar, El Rio. The Los Train Jam and fundraiser is held on the second Tuesday of the month regardless of whether I am running for office or not, since we always need the money.

The news from the campaign trail is good. I handed out dozens Sam Barry for Mayor bumper stickers in our sister city of Tecate, Mexico. My campaign manager Shahram Shirazi assures me that the election is a lock. “All the polling indicates you will get 150% of the vote!” says Shahram, who, I hasten to add, graduated from both Stanford and MIT, and so knows his numbers.

When he heard about my mayoral campaign, the noted scholar Dave Peller asked me “Is it really going to be a race?” Of course it’s never that simple in politics, Dave. You have to define your terms. What do you mean by “really,” “to be,” or “race”?

I’ll let the big picture guys handle the metaphysics. My feet are right here on the ground, or at this moment, on the bed. And my concern is for you, San Francisco. So far this mayoral election is one big yawn (not to be confused with a big picture). Oh sure, the frontrunner, Ed Lee, who is backed by our former mayor Willie Brown, and the other 83 candidates know about stuff like government and budgets and when the election is being held. But do they have my passion? Do any of them have a monthly jam at El Rio? Do they even have a band?

I challenge any one of the other candidates to meet me at El Rio next Tuesday. Bring your harmonicas, Ed Lee, Dennis Herrera, Leland Yee, Michela Alioto, Jeff Adachi, or any of the other numbered candidates. Let’s just see who can play better. I am pretty confident that I will kick all your asses, but if I’m wrong—if you play a meaner harpoon—then I’ll step aside and let you be mayor. I promise. Much as Ed Lee promised he wouldn’t run for mayor.