Monday, October 31, 2011

Comedian Running for Mayor of Miami Beach

There was a fun article in this Sunday's NYT about Steve Berke a comedian running in the Miami Beach mayoral race. 

Berke, age 30, is a Yale graduate who decided to run for office. His campaign has attracted serious attention even though he is less than serious himself and it's possible that he could do quite well against his main opponent, incumbent Mayor Matti Herrera Bower, the first Hispanic American female mayor of the city. At age 72, Bower insists this is the last time she'll be running for mayor.

The issue is whether Berke (advised by Republican consultant Roger Stone) will actually prevent Bower from serving that last term. The NYT described Berke as A Jon Stewart era candidate:

Call it a Jon Stewart-generation campaign by a candidate weaned on “The Daily Show” and hoping to use raw humor to reach new, disenfranchised voters through social media. On his campaign fliers, Mr. Berke poses with a fluffy housecat borrowed from a friend “because I don’t have a wife and children.” His campaign’s robo-calls use voice impersonators posing as President Obama, Bill Clinton and, “for the Jewish vote,” Adam Sandler. He has cameras recording his every step (and misstep) so he can pitch the whole thing as a reality show. He highlights his politically lethal gaffes because another part of his platform is unwavering transparency.

The reality is that Miami Beach is just the right kind of city for a non-traditional candidate like a comedian. Stay tuned for Election Day to see whether the citizens of Miami Beach -- known for it's Art Deco hotels, flamboyant lifestyle, and beaches, will pick the comedian Berke or stick with Bower for the win.

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