Erica has a piece on the mayor's race in this month's edition of the magazine called "How the SoDo Arena Could Decide the Mayor's Race."
I hear a lot of (in-denial) chatter among political insiders who try to spin the new arena deal as a loss for McGinn. Huh?
They spin it this way: McGinn is betraying his lefty base by going all in on the deal. While there is some overlap with the anti-tax portion of the anti-tunnel crowd who brung him (so, not lefties per se), those cranks are more likely to go with Peter Steinbrueck anyway—as are the social justice types who have zero tolerance for public financing for corporate sports deals because they want city dollars spent exclusively on services, housing, and public safety.
But I think the insider pundits are delusional if they think McGinn's win on the Sonics is some wild contradiciton that bugs his base.
His base is essentially 21st Century urbanists who like vibrant cities. Having an NBA team is part of that equation—and if anything, McGinn will win over some frat boys (which is more appropriate than you might think if you don't know the guy.)
Anyway, Erica breaks it down to: The Hero, the Iconoclast, and the Sore Winner, with McGinn coming in as the hero.
Plus he gave her a pretty cool quote:
The Hero McGinn—who has championed Hansen’s efforts from the beginning—demurred when asked about the Kings-to-Seattle chatter but added, “If it’s true, ain’t it cool?” It certainly would be for McGinn. A Sonics return would transform his image from the do-nothing mayor ... to the mayor who restored Seattle’s civic pride.