She sat offstage, impeccably dressed as always, at the July groundbreaking for a new central library, the latest in the list of San Diego’s civic conquests she helped orchestrate.
The mayors, state and city legislators and wealthy philanthropists on the dais all knew who she was. They had hired her again and again to make political conventions, Super Bowls and downtown ballparks happen. In the process, they made her just as powerful as themselves.
But you could forgive the crowd for not noticing when Mayor Jerry Sanders mentioned her name in passing toward the end of his introduction.
“My chief of staff, Kris Michell,” Sanders said, eliding the “thank you” between the ones he gave Jay Goldstone, his most public deputy, and Rana Sampson, his wife.