We go to press on Monday afternoon and thus risk the curse of a microcosmic “Dewey defeats Truman” moment here, but we’re going to go out on a limb and guess that Mayor David Holt just handily won a second term governing Oklahoma City.
It’s no wonder. He’s popular, with even local liberals and those farther left of center singing his praise daily and serving as unpaid public relations flacks via social media . But even a broken, bigoted clock is right twice a day, so Carol Hefner calling Holt “Mayor McSelfie” on debate night isn’t off the mark.
Holt is a moderate Republican who shows up to economic equality and social justice causes when he knows there’s a photo opportunity. Otherwise, he’s just an everyman in the streets, chamber of commerce guy in the sheets kind of a politician, but I guess this is enough to garner winning points with a more-conservative-than-it-cares to admit Oklahoma City.
Just more 2020s-era cult of personality politics. When something isn’t going well on social media, Holt (or his people) either delete the criticism or deflect if they think they can garner points by playing defense about things like the state of city roads or why project X or program Y hasn’t moved forward as planned.
Brazenly, he seemingly doesn’t think his voters deserve any explanation or accountability besides campaign ad talking points. Holt could have given any number of reasons for his lack of attendance at the debate. It was the crest of a strong omicron variant wave through our state and many thousands were in isolation due to infection, symptoms or exposure. He could have come straight out and said that he didn’t take any of these candidates seriously or think they posed any real opposition to the successes of his term.
But he said nothing. Not publicly anyway. Which seems to smack of thinking that he knows he won the popularity contest so it’s bread and circuses for all of us citizens for another four years.