At first blush one might guess the East Greenwich Rotary Club wouldn’t be the easiest audience for a progressive mayor of Providence to impress. But this, remember, is Angel Taveras, and I’ve honestly never known a politician with such a gift to win over various constituencies and to influence positive outcomes.
Angel inherited a cash-strapped city and handled it by getting the three-headed hydra of Providence politics – taxpayers, public sector unions and tax-exempt non-profits – to fork over their hard-earned money almost without so much as a debate. He also negotiated a peaceful and mutually beneficial outcome with the local Occupy crowd, a feat I believe to be unmatched in America.
Last week, he traveled downstate to the most conservative town around to talk to a group of business-backing Rotarians, and how do they greet him?
“You should run for governor!” he was told, according to East Greenwich Patch.
It’s easy to understand why Angel is so popular … he’s got an uncanny ability to level with both friends and foes, to tackle problems head-on and to date he’s proven he’s utterly unafraid of reaching consensus on any issue regardless of where a solution may fall on the political spectrum. That is exactly the set of skills Rhode Island needs most in a statewide leader.
He even explained to the group why it is that folks in East Greenwich ought to care more about the plight of Providence:
“We’re all co-dependent … Providence is the heart of the state. If your heart’s not healthy, the rest of your body isn’t. We’re all in this thing together.”
Taveras has already done wonders in healing the state’s heart … here’s hoping he the EG Rotarians, and many others, will get their wish and Angel will apply his considerable political acumen to the rest of the state via a run for governor in 2014.