"So at this point " Dornhelm later suggests, "it would be more of an advisory kind of pick."
"It would be an appointment that would have to be ratified at a later date, and with a new board it could be a different appointment," Avalos responds, declining to characterize the vote as "advisory," "symbolic," or any other pejorative that might diminish the urgency of even holding a vote.
If Avalos feels it's important for the outgoing board to make its feelings known on who the temporary mayor should be, fellow progressive supervisor Chris Daly apparently thinks it's a matter of the utmost significance.
On Tuesday, when supervisors appeared poised to vote for City Administrator Ed Lee, Daly threw an epic fit, labeling the choice "the biggest political fumble in the history of progressive politics in San Francisco."
That is awfully hyperbolic, considering the impermanent nature of the vote and the interim mayor's carefully preordained political status -- in order to mollify mayoral hopefuls on the board -- as a mere caretaker with no ambitions of parlaying his provisional status into a run for election in November, 2011.
The statutorily unsanctioned nature of tonight's vote makes it hard to even conjure up a good term for Lee's status if he wins. "Temporary interim mayor"? "Provisionally designated lame-duck choice?" And even if Daly -- who at least managed to wrangle a recess out of the Board before it officially voted for Lee on Tuesday -- has over the last couple of days managed to peel off the two votes necessary to quash Lee's tentative ascension, is there really any chance that Lee will not eventually be confirmed by the new Board, which will include four new members?
The Bay Citizen today ran an excellent behind-the-scenes look at just how Lee, who had not been mentioned in any of the pre-vote speculation, emerged as the candidate to beat. Long story short: Former mayor Willie Brown and influential Chinese-American political activist Rose Pak, in league with the Newsom administration, engineered the nomination.
It seems unlikely to me that this politically potent team would have floated Lee without making sure that they at least had the votes on the incoming Board. In fact, Pak is so confident that Lee will be the next mayor, she told KQED's Tara Siler yesterday that Lee's nomination was a "done deal, no ifs ands or buts."
Pak was attending a press conference set up by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, set up to show support for Lee from the Chinese-American community. Pak defended Lee's progressive credentials and criticized his detractors on the Board:
Rose Pak defends Ed Lee against the criticism of progressive supervisors