There have been moments of doubt in my run for mayor of San Francisco. It’s a big job. At times I wasn’t sure I was the right person for the job. There are others candidates—good candidates—people like Leland Yee, Bevan Dufty, Dennis Herrera, Phil Ting, Jeff Adachi, Kamala Harris, Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, Brian Wilson, and long shot Sarah Palin.
Herrera is a hero. Lincecum has an amazing fastball and curve, not to mention his underrated changeup. Wilson is brilliant closer—and then there’s that beard.
Who am I to run for mayor? I don’t even have a knuckleball. And yet—and yet, I sense that this is a calling for me. Just the other day when I was walking down Market Street, someone yelled “Mayor!” at me. I believe that God* was speaking directly to me through that person.
That’s how it begins. First one person yells “Mayor!” at you, and then another, and another, and soon hundreds, and then thousands, and tens of thousands, and then hundreds of thousands are yelling “Mayor!” at you and you have to move to San Jose for some peace and quiet.
So far there’s only been the one person, but we all know what’s coming. Call it destiny; call it fate; call it Sam Barry for Mayor. I even have a motto, given to me today by Citizen William Zimmerman, who, come to think of it, started the conversation by asking me if I was really running for mayor. More than ten people have asked me that same question, which constitutes a movement, as defined by Arlo Guthrie.
Anyhow, William Zimmerman gave my campaign a motto: “How bad could he be?”
I’m having bumper stickers made up, because that’s what we politicians do. If my campaign manager Shahram Shirazi (who attended Stanford and MIT which proves he’s smarter than you) approves, we may do T-shirts to raise money. The bumper stickers will say:
Sam Barry for Mayor
“How bad could he be?”
I’m trying to decide between these three color schemes: red, white, and blue; rainbow; or Day-Glo.
It’s a good motto. It sets the right tone—not too optimistic, but not downbeat, either. And it has the ring of truth. I mean, how bad can I be? Certainly not as bad as Sarah Palin.
In the coming weeks there is much for me to do. For one thing, I still don’t know when the election is being held, or if there’s any paperwork I need to do. Next time I talk to Shahram I’ll ask him about these details. Also, I’m wondering about the mayoral dress code. Some of my predecessors were pretty snappy dressers. Willie Brown, Gavin Newsom, and Emperor Norton all come to mind. But when that person yelled “Mayor!” at me on Market Street, I was dressed in jeans and my El Rio sweatshirt. The question is, should I go upscale? Should I wear my Guerra’s Deli & Meats sweatshirt? Or does my new role require that I start wearing my suit? And when I say “my suit” I mean the only suit I own, the one I bought for my wedding. I don’t think Shahram can answer this question. No, the buck stops here. I will make this decision on my own, the same way I make all my most important decisions: I’ll wait for God to yell the answer at me through a total stranger.
*Defined in any way you wish. Some people think the Sutro Tower is God.