Ego Without End

Driven by shameless vanity and enabled by an obliging press, Maurice Ferré, unfortunately, is at it again

But it's hardly fair to single out the Herald for this bizarre turn. Here at New Times, senior figures -- both past and present -- have repeatedly bestowed favorite-son status upon Ferré, rationalizing away his past, excusing his missteps, oh-so-subtly suggesting him as an expert source on civic policy to this paper's new-to-Miami staffers, and most offensively, carrying water for his incessant bids for public office. Enough already.

Yes, Ferré can be "charming" and "urbane." Obviously quite a few pundits have been swayed by his ability to drop names and pepper his discussions of cultural affairs with oblique references to academics such as Samuel Huntington and Arthur Schlesinger. And with Xavier Suarez and "Crazy" Joe Carollo as his immediate city hall successors, a mayor who neither belligerently shows up at his constituents' doorsteps at 3:00 a.m., nor is arrested for winging a tea canister at his wife starts to look very appealing.

But it's now 2004. The bar for elected office needs to be set higher than a clean bill of mental health. And those claiming the mantle of progressivism need to display a lot more than just good manners.

Hizzoner has a long record of public service, much of 
it deplorable
Jonathan Postal
Hizzoner has a long record of public service, much of it deplorable

Back at the Palm, as Kulchur's own skepticism becomes increasingly clear to Ferré, he turns earnest: "I've got an unfinished agenda. There are still things I want to accomplish." No doubt. Yet Ferré's record speaks for itself. And from this vantage point, Ferré's "agenda" seems to consist of little more than pure hubris, a desire to see his face enshrined alongside the other famous pols lovingly caricatured and immortalized on the Palm restaurant's walls. It's an ego trip Miami's press corps should have stopped indulging long ago.

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