Let there be no doubt: Kwame Kilpatrick intends to return.
On a day when his childhood dreams of being mayor ended with guilty pleas and his resignation, Kilpatrick let everyone know that, at age 38, he wholeheartedly expects to be a leader again.
“I want to tell you, Detroit, that you done set me up for a comeback,” Kilpatrick said Thursday in the last, near-defiant words of a brief goodbye speech to the city.
Kilpatrick took to the airwaves for about 20 minutes. In a speech that was vintage Kilpatrick, he acknowledged mistakes but brimmed with bravado. Surrounded by his wife, Carlita, mother, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, and other relatives, the outgoing mayor was greeted with whoops, “amens” and applause as he reeled off his accomplishments.
Kilpatrick is banned from seeking office during his five-year probation, but if he wants to lead again, he will likely have to follow a well-worn path to redemption. It will include an honest appraisal of his sins and public penance. Then he has to disappear.
Until the reality show deal.