The young lady who gave a brief introduction for Mark DeSantis identified herself as a registered Democrat.
However, with Pittsburgh having reached a "point of crisis," she could "no longer support the status quo."
DeSantis opened by saying that he is "all about change, in a city that desperately needs it." To illustrate this, he claimed that every man, woman, and child in Pittsburgh bears $10,000 worth of debt and liability.
His first applause line was that "when faced with 4th and inches, we've punted every time, and the clock has run out." (Sorry, Agent Ska.)
DeSantis packed a bigger wallop at the podium than he has on recent TV appearances. He was at his most animated on issues of sound management and accountability. He punctuated his remarks with a sort of dart-throwing hand gesture.
He said pointedly that Senator Heinz had taught him that it is only through selflessness, not self-promotion, that a person can (something something).
Of the three pillars of DeSantis -- efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency -- he said we currently have none. Yet these three pillars now support just one corner of a whole hexagon, which includes such items as fewer taxes and sustainable economic development. He said we can't build a strong economy on restaurants and shopping malls alone.
He acknowledged that public safety is a growing concern. Rather than let it slide year-by-year, he plans to "nip it in the bud."
We should not ask anyone for help, he said, until we prove that we can manage our own affairs, in an obvious reference to Ravenstahl's attempts to organize a state-wide pension liability pool.
DeSantis pledged to sign a "management contract" when he takes office. He will require his department heads to sign the same pledge, and then post it online. He seemed very excited about this.
As he was wrapping up, DeSantis referenced Herakles of Athens, whom he called "history's first great mayor." We believe he may have misspoken. Herakles never held political office, but did help to retrieve the Golden Fleece, and rescued the city of Troy from a sea monster sent by Poseidon.
FINAL CORRECTION: DeSantis did say "Pericles," whom he quoted as saying, "All good things on this earth flow into the city, because of the city's greatness." (LINK) The Comet can not honestly say it regrets the error.
Several Republican notables were in attendance, including former congresswoman Melissa Joan Hart, whom we understand still has a ton of campaign cash burning a hole in her war-chest.