After Wilder won the mayoral race by a landslide in 2004, I wrote a Back Page for STYLE Weekly, "Wilder Comes Home" (Dec. 29, 2004):
From a platform at his Nov. 2 victory party in the Omni Hotel, former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder said he needed to do no "studies" to divine which were Richmond's most pressing problems. When he spoke of a set plan to "hit the ground running," the crowd lapped it up. Even as the Democrats' national ticket was about to crash and burn, this was a roomful of unrestrained smiles. Those also assembled on the ballroom's low-rise stage, including Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine, beamed and applauded. With so many longtime Wilder supporters on hand the sense of satisfaction in the air was palpable.Click here to read the entire piece.
Yet most of the defenses of Mayor Wilder, these days, have a striking similarity. They consistently laud what he said back when he was on the campaign trail, asking for votes to win the job he had done much to create. Yes, the same job he originally said he would not seek.
What Wilder’s defenders can’t do is say much on what problems he has solved, or of what he has actually accomplished in a satisfying way on the job as mayor.