Blog: There’s life after politics

Gov. Sarah Palin makes millions as an author after quitting her job before her term as governor of Alaska was over. This is not an example for other politicians to follow.

I prefer former Shoreline Mayor Cindy Ryu’s style. Ryu lost by 192 votes to her opponent. She did everything right during her first term as mayor: getting involved in Shoreline community, making Shoreline visible among big cities in our state, showing up in Asian community events, and supporting small businesses. So why did she lose?

Ryu’s opponent’s negative campaign hurt her, Ryu said. But it didn’t hurt her spirit.

In fact, Ryu looked radiant and relaxed at the swearing-in ceremony of King County Executive Dow Constantine. Ryu’s genuine smile was seen far across the room.

There’s no pressure now. Ryu does not need to think about campaigning or being on camera constantly. Making big bucks like Palin was never Ryu’s agenda.

So what’s next for Ryu? This holiday would be a good time to figure it out. Don’t count her out. Cindy Ryu will be back. ♦

One Response to “Blog: There’s life after politics”

  1. Brian Doennebrink says:

    I agree that Cindy will continue to be involved in the community, and I look for her to go on to higher offices someday. She told me a couple of months ago that if she lost she would go back to what she was doing, which was making a considerable amount of money in business, and I believe that she’ll do just that [Cindy’s primary likeness with Sarah Palin is being mayor of a city of similar population to Wasilla, Alaska, few if anything beyond that]. This Shoreline voter did not see any negative campaign literature from Cindy’s opponent, but I did see at least one from Ms. Ryu late in the campaign, though still tame compared to the other council races in Shoreline that told the worst parts of a partial story on their opponent and left out the rest. I think a number of factors contributed to Mayor Ryu’s narrow defeat. In no particular order: (1) her involvement in the controversial firing of former City Manager Burkett…all 5 of the councilmembers who were involved in the December 2005 incident are now ex-councilmembers after single terms, save one, a long-timer who was still ousted in 2007; (2) news stories and letters to the editor pieces that surfaced over this past summer about the possibility of 12 story buildings that allegedly would benefit Ms. Ryu and another about a donation from the refuse provider that won the last city contract; (3) Shoreline voters’ gullible appetite as well as distaste for the slightest hint of impropriety-even with an incomplete story-3 councilmembers lost on this suddenly-popular basis and the 4th may have had their opponent appeared on the ballot vs. waging a write-in campaign, and this is the third consecutive election where multiple incumbents have been ousted in Shoreline; (4) her opponent ran hard, doorbelling over 11,000 homes; (5) Cindy’s campaign kickoff wasn’t until June as I recall, perhaps underestimating her opponent; (6) a longstanding, motivated anger by her opposition in a politically divided city, who viewed Cindy’s strong positions outside the status quo and influence over 3 of the other councilmembers who marched in lockstep as autocratic more than democratic. Cindy is no doubt stung by electoral defeat-those of us who have been there can particularly sympathize-but I know she’ll thrive without the enormous time and life commitment of weekly council meetings, endless constituent demands, and, every few years, the grind of a campaign that increasingly contains the kinds of elements listed above. No matter where someone stands politically, they owe a debt of gratitude to most politicians or those who attempt to be, and especially to folks like Cindy for her terrific contribution, which was well beyond “bare minimum” towards trying to make her city a better place to live.


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