On March 31, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer named his chief of staff: Democratic political consultant David Dix. Let's just get this out of the way now, shall we?
Orlando Weekly is proud to announce that we heartily support the hiring of Dix. It is our position -- as it has always been -- that the community can only benefit from the increased participation of Dix at all levels. At the risk of sounding like apologists for the Dyer administration, we're honestly thrilled by the prospect of having Dix hanging around.
We love Dix. We're way into Dix. And if the opportunity arose, we'd get down on our knees and show our devotion to Dix in no uncertain terms. At any time. No questions asked.
Why the jubilation, you ask? Maybe it's because we've learned to rely on Dix for so much. Look at all the accomplishments that have borne the stamp of Dix. When Teddy Kennedy ran for president in 1980, he knew that he could do no better than rely on Dix for expert advice and encouragement. At every step of the controversial campaign, it was Dix right out in front.
U.S. Congressman Jim Weaver (D-Ore.) likewise entrusted his political fortunes to Dix. And in 1986, when a seat opened up in that state's legislature, the people of Oregon showed their sound decision-making prowess by choosing to fill the hole with Dix. (A 1990 election, in contrast, left Dix out in the cold, but what the hey: You can't always count on the voters to keep as tight a grasp on Dix as they should. Sometimes, they just let Dix slip through their fingers.)
In 1992, Dix went private. The formation of a political-consulting and public-affairs company, Dix Communications, was treated as a godsend by eager clients, who could now be secure in the knowledge that they had Dix to represent them. When it came time to take their message to the public, they could just lie back and let their Dix do the talking.
A subsequent PR gig at General Mills created a new and exciting consumer paradigm: Dix at the breakfast table! Dix performed similar outreach services for the Summit for America, a 1997 gathering that saw some of our most distinguished statesmen discussing matters of import to children. The event brought together all the living U.S. presidents (save Reagan), and was chaired by current secretary of state Colin Powell. Never had the committed participation of Dix been so crucial to a public forum.
The management of Dyer's winning campaign is the latest triumph for which Dix can take a heaping helping of the credit. No wonder, then, that our mayor swiftly decided to put Dix in a city-sanctioned position. After all, you don't have to be a political genius to look at Dix and think "staff." According to the Sentinel, citizens can expect Dix to serve as chief for a minimum of six months. Just think of it: half a year of guaranteed, constant, nonstop Dix!
In that time span, we'll wager, Orlandoans will find Dix leaving an impression on every avenue of local life. Walk into almost any room where civic planning is the order of business and what are you going to see? Dix. Transportation conferences? Dix again. Land-development symposia? Major-league Dix.
Without resorting to too much armchair quarterbacking, it's easy to predict that Dix will have staying power. Stamina, even. When it comes to improving our way of life, Dix will explore every nook and cranny of Orlando culture, carving out a highly individualized niche and staying rigidly in place until the job is done.
And the best part is knowing that the enhanced communication will be a two-way proposition. Frankly, we can't decide what's better: having the ear of Dix, or enjoying the standing invitation to have Dix in your ear. Either way, it's going to take grave and unforeseen circumstances to remove Dix from the public eye.
Sadly, there are already some naysayers determined to throw cold water on our city's burgeoning love affair with Dix. According to the Sentinel, certain observers are troubled by Dyer's plans to use private donations to keep Dix on the payroll. That doesn't pass ethical muster with these folks. Keep Dix public, they say.
Here at Orlando Weekly, we take the alternate viewpoint that you just can't pay too much for Dix. And really, who cares where the money's coming from, when the city's budget is in perpetual danger of going as limp and flaccid as ... as ... well, we'll think of something? With all apologies to the Byrds, there's a time to tear Dix down, and a time to rally around Dix like revelers at a May Day picnic. This newspaper comes down squarely on the latter side. Should the need arise, we're ready to roll up our sleeves and start working for Dix the minute the call comes in. We've got the desire, and even more important, we've got the experience.
To hell with professional objectivity. We'll do anything we can to stop Dix from getting the shaft, whether it means selling baked goods door-to-door, or just churning out columns so full of infantile double entendres that they wouldn't even make Mel Brooks' to-do list. Either way suits us fine. At the risk of sounding hopelessly New Age, there's a genuine connection going on here. In a subtle yet undeniable way, we feel as if we're all Dix. And we suspect that you are, too.