Mayoral Candidate Morris Has a Good Night 

Well, it seems that mayoral candidate Herman Morris is still a force to be reckoned with. A generous crowd of attendees turned out for the former MLGW head at a Racquet Club fund-raiser Thursday night, where Morris showed off his gracious wife Brenda and his two academically excelling sons. He may have over-promised somewhat, though -- calling himself the only potential mayor "with a real first lady." John Willingham, for one, has a potential "real first lady," and so, presumably, do many of the 14 or so others in the race.

Even so, Morris has served notice that he's in the mayor's race for the long haul, with at least a chance to be regarded down the line as the major alternative to incumbent Mayor Willie Herenton. (That presupposes a foldo from city council member Carol Chumney, though -- and that's not guaranteed to happen.)

Morris' chief liability would seem to be that, while he seems to be a certifiable "nice man," he is not (or not yet) personable to the point of seeming comfortable while greeting individuals or crowds. All too often he gives the impression of wanting to be off somewhere reading a book -- or working at one of the oil paintings he does so well.

As his handlers say, though, there's time -- four months' plus some -- for Morris to grow into the role.

--j.b..

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