The latest rule of Jefferson Smith's mayoral campaign is you do not talk about Jefferson Smith.In the wake of two polls showing Smith down 20 points to Charlie Hales, the Smith campaign this morning held what it called "an unusual kind of morning visibility—not about the candidate but about facts facing East Portland for downtown morning commuters."
"East Portland Matters," read one of the signs. "There's never been a mayor from east of 82nd."
Campaign manager Henry Kraemer says the Smith campaign has chosen to spend its final days talking about Smith's most beloved topics.
"We've got seven days," Kraemer says. "We've got seven days to talk about the issues facing Portland, and we're going to do that. The people of Portland deserve for us to make those seven days about the issues facing them."
Smith was not at the event.
The move is the latest in an effort by Smith to take the focus off him as a candidate.
Last week, the campaign adjusted its filings with the state's elections division so its volunteers could also knock on doors for the Portland Public Schools $482 million capital bond measure.
Smith's latest TV ad, released last week, also focuses on East Portland.
In it, Smith adjusts his trademark line, "I'm Jefferson Smith, and I'm running for mayor." Instead he says, "I'm Jefferson Smith, and wherever you live, we need you—to get Portland working for all of us."