Kasim Reed on re-election: ‘I worry about someone who’s 20 or 30 and has 40 friends’

On Sunday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was on Melissa Harris-Perry’s MSNBC program that focuses on African-American politics. The topic was redistricting, but Reed turned the conversation toward the need for Democrats to focus on down-ticket contests – and make use of the party’s advantage with young people.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Said Reed, who is up for re-election this year:

“I don’t worry about somebody who’s 50 or 60 running against me for mayor. I worry about somebody that’s 20 or 30 with 40 friends that can get out and knock on [5,000 and 10,000] and 15,000 doors. That’s really the path forward for us. And folks like me that have opportunities have to build our staffs with young people.

“The COO for the city of Atlanta is 36 years old. My chief of staff’s 43 years old. My city attorney’s 45 years old. I’ve got a senior advisor who’s 30. We’ve got to live this.”

As soon as my walker gets out of the shop, I’ll work my way down to City Hall to talk this out with the mayor over a couple of tall, cold glasses of Metamucil.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

18 comments Add your comment

Buford T. Justice

January 7th, 2013
1:55 pm

Having been an advisor in a couple of Atlanta mayoral races some many years ago, the Mayor is right. And he would have been right if he’d said it 30 years ago. That is, nothing has changed. In local races, he who knocks on doors and follows that up with a strong GOTV wins. Now that rule is toothless if your opponent is able to paint you as a Republican, which is the death knell of any black politician in ATL. And it’s been true for at least a couple of decades that staff has gotten younger. Remember Nick Ayers, who was 21 when he ran Sonny Perdue’s 1st gubernatorial campaign?

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 7th, 2013
2:03 pm

Or they could just wait until they know how many votes their opponent got and fake up enough of their own to beat them, like they do every election.

The Count Von Count at the Count's Countdown

January 7th, 2013
2:40 pm

36, 43, 45, 30… there’s got to be some winning lottery numbers in here somewhere….

RAMZAD

January 7th, 2013
2:44 pm

There is just a great disconnect, for me, with Reed’s rhetoric and his march. This guy is most articulate and unquestionably bright, but he just does not seem to have the vision thing. He is still a manager and not a visionary. We need people with vision, and I suspect that he is still the Old Guard talking like a Young Turk.

BARON DEKALB

January 7th, 2013
2:49 pm

Aesop: if you have proof of voter fraud, bring it on. Just because you don’t like the results of an election, that doesn’t mean that a crime has been committed. You are full of hot air, as usual.

By the way, did you know that there are 13 citations of Aesop in conservative maven William J. Bennett’s hypocritical “Book of Virtues?” And I’m pretty sure he’s not using them as evidence of “lib economic theories.” In fact, many of Aesop’s fables fit very well into the simplistic, black-and-white logic of conservatism.

yellowdog

January 7th, 2013
2:50 pm

Touche, jim…….without any institutional knowledge good luck to them….coming in at 30 and being an adviser to a mayor? on what?

jd

January 7th, 2013
2:54 pm

Yellowdog — just look at all the 20 somethings serving as senior advisors to the Governor… he and the Mayor agree again! (and you are right also!)

Angry Voter

January 7th, 2013
2:54 pm

What on God’s green earth makes you think her program focuses on African American politics. It focuses on politics. Are you so jaded, Jim, that everything has to be about race? Truly disgusting to pigeon hole her show or opinion as just about African Americans. Yes, Jim, many non-African Americans share her thoughtful insight and watch her show. Truly, truly disgusting for you to gratuitously throw in that reference.

Is yours a blog that focuses on old white guy issues?

Synonymous

January 7th, 2013
2:55 pm

Nick Ayers didn’t ‘run’ Sonny’s campaign in 2002 so much as he stumbled across the finish line and won by the sheer serendipity of having to face first Linda “Crazy Eyes” Schrenko in the primary, then a hugely unpopular Roy Barnes in the general. Nick Ayers and Sonny didn’t have to do anything but show up in order to win that year. He’s not some Karl Rove guy, he’s a chump who got lucky and then advanced to Washington through Sonny’s pull as governor (while getting a DUI whitewashed in the process…).

Don't Tread

January 7th, 2013
2:55 pm

“coming in at 30 and being an adviser to a mayor? on what?”

Twitter, Facebook, gaining street cred, how to play Xbox…

What, you were looking for a policy adviser? Good luck with that…

td

January 7th, 2013
3:08 pm

RAMZAD

January 7th, 2013
2:44 pm

Why does a city need a visionary for mayor? I would think that it is much better for any city to have a good manger in the mayors position because they effect the day to day lives of people.

Weetamoe

January 7th, 2013
3:11 pm

Exact voter fraud figures are not yet available in the metro area because Fulton County election officials are still trying to figure out how many times to count the ballots they keep *misplacing.* In my home state Elizabeth Warren is embarrassed over the 1900 *missing* welfare recipients who evidently cast all their ballots for her. Democrat representative Jim Moran’s son, who has brought the war on women into his own personal relationships, was busted for plotting voter fraud ….and on and on and on…..

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 7th, 2013
3:15 pm

So why does Fulton County always turn their ballots in the next day?

In fact, many of Aesop’s fables fit very well into the simplistic, black-and-white logic of conservatism.

Every Fable has a fool and that’s where the democrats come in at, my man.

Will

January 7th, 2013
4:10 pm

Angry, maybe Jim categorized Melissa Harris-Perry’s show as focusing on African American politics because it does… MHP’s show and scholarly works focus on African American Politics and Women, especially Black women in the South. Look her up, she is a professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. MHP previously served on the faculties of the University of Chicago and Princeton University where she also focused on guess what? African American Politics.

Al Bartell...Candidate for Mayor

January 7th, 2013
11:50 pm

Nice to be recognized as a candidate for Mayor in the 2013 election cycle Al Bartell…Age: 57 years old…. let the campaign begin!….

Seriously though...

January 8th, 2013
9:58 am

Any program on MSNBC is questionable at best for its journalistic credibility. Kasim Reed did paint his opponent as “Republican” as if that is a bad thing. In the black community that is code for racist. He is no better and in my opinion as corrupt as those in DeKalb county and needs to go. Still many questions about airport contracts, etc. and probably much, much more.

Intown

January 8th, 2013
10:18 am

RAMZAD: you have it backwards. Reed is actually longer on vision than he is on day-to-day management. That’s not good or bad. Just fact. Also, cannot believe the Mayor just revealed the ages of three WOMEN on his senior staff. Dude, what are you doing?

Dose of Truth

January 8th, 2013
1:41 pm

@ Don’t Tread and @ YellowDog – I also thought it was crazy that the Mayor had a 30-year old advisor. I was with you until I googled him. That 30-year old Senior Advisor was a corporate lawyer and federal prosecutor in Chicago. I doubt he spends much time on X-Box on facebook. I suddenly feel like an underachiever and I am done judging.