Mayor Frank Jackson, addressing the press in the Red Room on Tuesday, made a string of vague pronouncements that provided little clarity on whether the 75-year-old will indeed run for an unprecedented fifth term in office.
"It is what it is," Jackson said at the beginning of the press conference, before going silent.
A dozen direct inquiries asking the mayor if he would seek a fifth term yielded a jumbled monologue that left even City Hall staffers curiously cocking their heads sideways.
"It's a process," Jackson said, "There's a process and it's been a process so far, and processes are really what it's all about. There's also legacies, of which processes are an integral part. You can't have a legacy without a process, and you can't have a process without a legacy. It really is what it is."
While Cleveland has seen improvements in recent years, the city has also been beset by lingering problems including yet another investigation by the Department of Justice into troubles with the Cleveland police department and the controversial income tax increase lobbied for by Jackson, portions of which were used to buy each city employee a complete anthologized collection of the Hardy Boys series.
"I have been mayor for many years," Jackson said. "Years are made up of months and days, even hours. You string them all together and you get years. You put years together and you get terms. I have been mayor for many terms. The same thing goes for books. You put letters together and you get sentences. Put those together and you get paragraphs and then chapters and then books. You have more than one book and you have a series. I love the Hardy Boys."
No possible challenger has yet to signal any intention of entering the fray against Jackson, and insiders say there's a solid chance Jackson will simply stay in his office until someone tells him to leave.
During a lull in questions, Jackson declared, "I think that speaks for itself," before putting on a plush robe and leaving the room.