At 6 feet 4 inches, the mayor of Motown is hard to miss.
First elected in 2002, Kwame Kilpatrick inherited a Detroit that was spiraling in decline and today is $300 million in debt.
Kilpatrick’s recently been knocking heads with his city council — and the Detroit media. The size of his security detail came under scrutiny, and so did the size of the bill for his city-issued credit card: $200,000, he says spent promoting Detroit. Then, there was the SUV — leased by the city and driven by his wife.
Critics say Kilpatrick been his own worst enemy.
"The mayor just keeps feeding the bulldog that keeps chasing him," says Devin Scillian, a reporter for WDIV. "He wants to complain that the media’s out to get him, but he’s the one that seems to be leaving a lot of meat scraps."
The city hall squabbles and battles with the media might indicate fading popularity for the first-term mayor of Detroit — just don’t suggest that to Kwame Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick says that these stories steal thunder from his redevelopment of downtown and rejuvenating the waterfront.
Now, it’s gotten nasty: Kilpatrick’s bodyguards were photographed pushing one TV reporter known for his aggressive style. The city government’s cable station has even aired a 12-minute video slamming that reporter’s tactics.
Today, the former football lineman is trailing in the polls and fighting for his political life.
“I feel like George Foreman if he had to go another 17 after the 15,” says Kilpatrick.
With primaries Tuesday, it’s anyone’s guess what the next round will bring. According to a poll out last week 58 percent of Detroit's residents say the city is on the wrong track.