The New York Times touted Mayor Riley to be the most loved politician in America! We adore Mayor Riley and greatly appreciate his support of the CWHC. Read Frank Bruni’s piece and consider joining our coalition today!
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The custom here is for a mayor’s portrait to be hung in the City Council chamber only after he leaves office. But in 2007, folks got tired of waiting for Joe Riley to make his exit, and he was put on the wall while still on the job. He’d been running Charleston for more than 31 years.
It’s almost 39 at this point: a period long enough that he can’t remember the color of his hair, now white, when he first took office, in December 1975.
“Brownish-blond, I guess?” he said.
It’s equally hard for many people to recall what Charleston looked like back then. Its center wasn’t the beautifully manicured, lovingly gentrified showpiece it is today. That transformation helps explain why voters have elected Riley 10 times in a row. They adore the man, or at least many of them do, as I witnessed firsthand when I ambled around town with him last week. More than once, someone spotted him — he vaguely resembles Jimmy Stewart, only lankier — and then followed him for a few blocks just to shower him with thanks. READ MORE