When I told several people this story they thought the Insite was joking. But long time Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton actually had a campaign slogan that left some laughing while others were embarrassed. That slogan: Shake Them Haters Off! Needless to say Herenton won re-election in Memphis. Here’s a bit of what the local paper had to say about the campaign:
Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton won his fifth term tonight with 42 percent of the vote.
City Councilwoman Carol Chumney placed second with 35 percent, followed by former MLGW CEO Herman Morris with 21 percent.
Following a gracious concession speech from Morris and a rather ungracious concession speech from Chumney, it was time for Herenton’s “victory” speech. And an odd one it was.
After thanking his supporters, Herenton began reciting a litany of grievances against various “haters” and “mean people,” including a FedExForum crowd that booed him — a crowd that was, in Herenton’s words, “90 percent white.”
Herenton went on to say he now knew “who was for him and who was against him.”
For a man who’d just garnered 42 percent of the total vote, there is still ample evidence that there may more of the latter than the former. — Bruce VanWyngarden
from the victory stand:
The song “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” blared over the public address system in a Memphis Cook Convention Center ballroom Thursday as supporters of Willie W. Herenton pushed toward the stage where the mayor delivered his victory speech.
The emcee barked “He shook the haters off,” into the microphone, as the jubilant crowd roared its approval.
“I’m going to be nice tonight,” Herenton continued, “but there are some mean, mean-spirited people in Memphis. These are the haters. I know how to shake them off,” he said, his last words lost in the applause.