Reed: Atlanta is about winning

Mayor Reed's State of the City address is nearly upstaged by Coke-produced pro-Kasim video


As usual, this morning's annual State of the City address brought the Metro Chamber's heavy hitters together at the crack of 7 a.m. — the middle of the night as far as some of us are concerned, BTW — for a couple leathery strips of fakon and what looked to be a cross between a frittata and a ShamWow. But, breakfast aside, the event provided a wonderful window into the close, symbiotic relationship Mayor Reed has forged with the Atlanta business community.

Acting as emcee, Coke CEO Muhtar Ken introduced a slick, five-minute video his company had produced about Reed that was so hagiographic the mayor could simply edit it down into campaign commercials and save a ton of money. With WSB anchor Monica Pearson doing the voice-over honors (conflict-of-interest alert!), the video featured glowing testimonials to Reed's leadership from honchos at Delta, the Council for Quality Growth, the Atlanta Business Chronicle and others.

Then Hizzoner himself took the stage to tout his accomplishments: lower crime; more cops; $94 million in cash reserves; 900 children served weekly at the city's "Centers of Hope"; and a budget-busting pension crisis averted.

Over the course of the next 35 minutes, he also revealed some interesting insights and factoids about himself:

• If you want to understand the mayor's approach toward governing, grab a copy of Instruction to Deliver, a 2007 book by a British policy guru who brought modern management techniques to Tony Blair's government. The book instructs elected officials to first take care of the basics — crime,
potholes, etc. — before asking voters to support bigger, riskier initiatives.

• Reed loves chicken; in a pinch, Popeye's will do.