My, how the rumors swirl

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By Tim Redmond

Well, now I'm not the only one speculating about the possibility of Carole Migden deciding to run for mayor. Sasha at LeftinSF floated it out Tuesday, and SFist weighed in on it today.

All of this, of course, goes back to the story that Mark Leno may challenge Migden for her state Senate seat, a prospect that has political reporters and insider-politics junkies (including me) buzzing around madly.

But when you actually think about if for a second, there are a few good reasons for everyone (including Leno) to take a deep breath and consider what this could mean. For starters, Midgen and Leno don't really disagree on a lot of major issues. So the campaign would be all about things like "effectiveness" and personality -- and that kind of race has the prospect of turning very negative and very ugly very fast. The battle would split the progressive community, and, as one observer put it to me, "there would be blood everywere, and it could take years to heal the wounds."

I'm not syaing Leno shoudn't do it -- I like to see incumbents face a challenge, and this is a democracy and he has every right to run for any office he wants. But this is about more than Leno and Migden; there's a progressive movement in this town, and we've got a lot of battles to fight.

I know Leno and Migden aren't on the best of terms right now, but I think Sup. Tom Ammiano has the right idea. "Before this goes any further," he told me, "Mark and Carole really need to sit down and talk."

And I'd love to evesdrop on THAT conversation.

PS: Lest I sound too negative about a Leno challenge, let me quote a local activist who knows both politicians well: "Leno fights for his issues. He's a real hard worker. Carole pushes the right button on the issues, but a lot of us think she's missing in action. She shouldn't be talking to Leno -- she should be back here talking to us."

And if the prospect of a challenge gets Migden to pay more attention to her constituents, that's only a good thing.