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Inaugural excess


News Hits almost got caught up in the prevailing bliss as we followed Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his boisterous crew on their nonstop, weeklong inaugural celebration. But we caught ourselves early on during first lady Carlita Kilpatrick’s luncheon at the Roostertail. It was the 200 or so full-length fur coats at the mandatory coat check that hit us like ice water. A zoo’s worth of animals suffered for the two long, shiny, multimillion-dollar rows. We next noticed Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, who used nearly every event to pump her run for Michigan governor. She didn’t recline for more than a moment.

During his official swearing-in at the Fox Theatre, Mayor Kwame indicated that bureaucratic heads will roll in the next two months, as there’s “no room for mediocrity” in the Kilpatrick administration. And the mayor also mentioned that he may dismiss up to 70 percent of ex-Mayor Archer’s 500-odd appointees. Clearly, Detroit’s new Big Daddy acclimated quickly to his role as city power broker. On Saturday night his entourage traveled Detroit streets with a siren-buzzing motorcade of limos, cops and buses packed with revelers. As the mayor and his pals popped in and out of bars for the first-ever inaugural club crawl, Kilpatrick sported a black baseball cap with “CEO” emblazoned across its front. As far as we could see, he wasn’t downing any beers. Former boxing champ Tommy Hearns, who was at the Flood’s Bar & Grill reception, said he thinks Kilpatrick will be “wonderful” for Detroit. “I think it’s going to be great to see what a younger man can do for the city.”

Lisa M. Collins contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or

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