August 18, 2010
It's already a well-established rail of contemporary Alabama politics that a candidate cannot win if he/she somehow appears to oppose Nick Saban, whose icon status in the Yellowhammer State after just three years as Crimson Tide head coach vastly exceeds that of mere politicians. The logical corollary, that appearing to have Saban in your corner will guarantee victory, has proven more elusive. Among the many things the almighty coach doesn't have time for, it seems, is the local electoral scene.
According to the Birmingham News, however, Saban's lack of interest in (or basic awareness of) Dorothy Davidson's campaign for mayor of Bessemer, Ala., wasn't about to deter the enterprising councilwoman. If Davidson couldn't bring the mountain to her, she'd Photoshop herself with the mountain. From The Birmingham News:
Bessemer Councilwoman Dorothy Davidson, who is running for mayor of the city, claims she secured Saban's endorsement of her campaign three weeks ago. Davidson printed it on a color campaign flier that shows her and the coach smiling side by side on a golf course.
But University of Alabama athletics officials on Tuesday said there is no such endorsement. And the photo of Davidson and Saban together is not real, but digitally altered from another photo.
"Coach Saban has not been contacted for a political endorsement of any kind," Associate Athletics Director Jeff Purinton wrote in an e-mail response to questions from The Birmingham News. [...]
Davidson said she does not know how many of the fliers were printed, but her campaign workers have been handing them out. ...
When initially confronted with the forgery by the newspaper, Davidson insisted the photo was real, until also shown the original, at which point she conceded the game was up. Her campaign manager, Kevin Morris, was more persistent, claiming Saban (allegedly a friend of Morris' father) personally authorized the fliers: "We were on the golf course one day, and I asked him myself if this would be OK." Otherwise, Morris said, they never would have been printed without Saban's genuine support. And really, what savvy, prominent public figure wouldn't sign off on allowing his name and image to be incorporated into a blatant forgery against the voting public?
Saban wasn't available for comment. Not that there's a whole lot to say. Bessemer will hold its mayoral election next Tuesday. Who knows? Maybe even the association with a fake Nick Saban will put Ms. Davidson over the top.