As McNulty leaves, Sydnor can't help but wonder how the serial-killer investigation impacts what he and Freamon are up to. "Hard to explain," Freamon says deftly. Man, don't I know it. As I'm typing this, the better half is watching a Prison Break episode for her next recap in which there is, like, a twenty-minute car-chase scene. Oh, for a recap where I could write things like "Linc turns left" and "Michael yells 'Look out!'" over and over again -- not that she doesn't do so skillfully. ["Yeah, keep digging, there, bud." -- Miss Alli] Instead, I've got to spend two hundred pages chronicling McNulty's latest descent into madness. Where's my goddamn extra manpower? That coming out of your big press conference, McNulty?
We're about to find out, because the press conference is getting ready to start. Carcetti stares through the glass door at the assembled media throng -- and it is quite a large throng, so far as these things go -- and asks Norman and his weasel of a chief of staff if they remember what the Democratic Party told him he had to do if he ever aspired to be governor. Build something downtown, drive down the crime rate, and don't touch schools, the weasely chief of staff says. "And keep my boyish good looks," Carcetti adds ruefully. "One out four ain't bad," Norman says. I believe you just got served, Mr. Mayor -- Norman-style. Carcetti's too busy fuming that this is going to bury his earlier press conference about the New Westport development in the next day's papers. I dunno -- "Local Hothead Tells Developer, Mayor To Fuck Themselves" is a headline that would catch my eye. Anyhow, time to meet the press.
And meet them he does. Carcetti starts things off by sarcastically thanking the press for showing up when so many of them couldn't be bothered to appear at his New Westport grip-and-grin earlier in the day. "It would appear that media attention is always focusing on the negatives when it comes to Baltimore," he says, "but you guys aren't around when we're making real progress." Sitting in the audience, the notoriously pissy Sorzi scoffs. But Carcetti is not done -- he notes the presence of a number of national media in the crowd and again dials up the Sarcast-o-meter. "Thank you for caring enough about our most vulnerable citizens to address yourselves to this tragedy," he says. And that kick-starts a remarkably forthright monologue on the tragedy of homelessness -- how homeless people fall through the cracks, how they get little attention or resources, and how politicians aren't really motivated to fix the problem unless it's to shoo the unfortunates away. "We open a food bank here, a shelter there," Carcetti continues, as Norman looks on, trying to mask his astonishment. "We try to move them away from downtown, away from our communal areas, away from our schools, away from our homes. If you were to judge our society by the manner in which we treat those lost on our streets, we would have cause to be shamed. Well, I am, God help me, a politician" -- pause for appreciative laughter -- "but I am also someone who ran for public office because I believe there is a different way of governing. And I believe that, in the end, we will be judged not by the efforts we make on behalf of those who vote for us or those who contribute to our campaigns or those who provide for our tax base. I believe we will be judged by what we provide to the weakest and most vulnerable. That is the test. That is my test." And he's right, you know. Which is why I hope y'all will join me this November in voting for John Edwards for President. What? No, I haven't read the papers lately. He did? Aw, crap.