Monday, March 20, 2006

Bob The Explorer

What do Amerigo Vespucci, Ferdinand Magellan, Leif Erickson (not the teen idol), Henry The Navigator and Bob Clement have in common? Can you say famous explorers?
In case you missed it, back on February 14th - the same day I was try to wrestle other deadbeat husbands for the last box of chocolates in the candy aisle at Kroger on my way home to spend Valentine's Day with my sweet wife - Bob Clement sent out a news release declaring that he had formed an "exploratory committee" to help him decide whether or not to run for Mayor of Nashville. The news hit Nashville like a change in the weather - few really cared and no one who did care was surprised by it.
Filing "the necessary papers to form an exploratory committee" is like buying a pair of very expensive running shoes - everyone expects you to put them on and enter a race sooner or later. Calling it "exploratory" simply adds to the suspense. When will the candidate actually try on the sneakers? When will he start running the race? And what if they don't fit - will he take them back and trade them for a nice comfortable pair of house slippers?
I'm betting Bob plans to run for Mayor of Nashville (how's that for going out on a limb?), but I do have questions.
For one, Clement asked Larry Woods, one of the Nashville's smarter politicos, to be the chair of the "exploratory committee." Does this make him chief scout for the exploratory team? The Larry Woods I know is known more for getting stuff done than for riding around looking for the next place to pitch camp.
And what about the other members of Bob the Explorer's "exploratory committee?" Who are they? Can anyone cook? I hope for Bob's sake he names a good cook to his explorer team - history will show that hunger led many explorations to a disastrous ending. And I hope Bob the Explorer has a good map - every explorer needs to have a sense of where they are going.
The race is not until 2007, but look for Bob the Explorer to eventually try on the running shoes this year and to officially declare his candidacy. Even though it's important to our city's future, I'm afraid when he does officially announce the challenge Bob will face will be getting voters to pay attention. After all, like most folks, I tend to spend most days like I did this past Valentine's Day - trying in vain to dig myself out of a personal hole.