Deadline Now: Carty Finkbeiner
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Deadline Now: Carty Finkbeiner

Friday, February 8, 2013 at 8:30 p.m.

Former three-term Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner returns to "Deadline Now" for a lively conversation to let viewers know what he's been up to recently, how he thinks the city is holding up, and what he thinks of the job current Mayor Mike Bell is doing.

Here are Jack Lessenberry's Final Thoughts for this edition of "Deadline Now:"

You may think this bizarre, but when Ed Koch, New York City’s  legendary mayor died last week, I thought of Carty Finkbeiner.

Why? Well, certainly not because I thought Carty was about to die. It was because these two men have one thing in common:

We identify them heart and soul with their cities.

That’s not true of most mayors. David Dinkins, the man who eventually defeated Koch, is today semi-forgotten. Virtually nobody remembers Doug DeGood, who was Toledo’s mayor for several terms in the late seventies, and long ago left the state.

But Carty and Koch had their cities’ fabric woven into their DNA. 

You couldn’t imagine Ed Koch as mayor of New Orleans, any more than you can imagine Carty Finkbeiner being mayor of any other city than Toledo. Both men had passionate supporters and bitter enemies. Both won some elections and lost others.

Both did some things that neutral observers praised, and other things for which some said they ought to have their heads examined.

But nobody ever accused Carty Finkbeiner of not loving Toledo, any more than they accused Ed Koch of not caring about New York.

Throughout my career I’ve interviewed many mayors and governors, and had the chance to meet six presidents. They differed wildly, in every way from politics to life style.

But almost all had one thing in common. They didn’t think much of the job their successors were doing. Some had come to appreciate how difficult their predecessors had it. But almost none admired the mayors who came after them. I think that must be human nature.

I don’t take sides in Toledo politics; I live in Michigan, for one thing. But there is one way in which Carleton Finkbeiner has impressed me. He seems to have adjusted quite well to not being in office or running for office.

Years ago, some of us used to say we were members of the generation who were too young to remember a time before Carty Finkbeiner was running for something -- but who were too old to think we’d live to see a day when he was out of politics.

Today, I have to say that Carty has surprised us, once again.