As the 2014 mayoral campaign heats up, it's worth considering the relevance of a mayor's political leanings. How much do they really matter? Historically, we've rarely gotten what we expected politically. Oakland, and maybe most cities, has the kind of challenges and opportunities that seem to have less to do with a left- or right-wing approach and more to do with practicality. The tough realities of running a city smooth down the sharp edges of political principle.