For a while yesterday afternoon, it was difficult to tell whether City Council Chairman Sterling Tucker, standing beneath the revolving glass ball at center stage of the Chapter II Disco and Supper Club in southeast Washington, was auditioning for a job as a television sportscaster, running for mayor or trying his hand at standup comedy.
At one point Tucker was calling former Redskin's defensive bank Lonnie Sanders up for a prediction on the afternoon's game between the Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys - only to receive no prediction at all.
The next minute he was calling on those in the audience of about 200 to adopt an "upbeat" feeling about the city, whose government oftern is criticized in the same manner as the Redskins are.
Pretty soon, however, the message was clear. Tucker, who many political observers view as the front-runner in next year's race for mayor and an avid Redskins supporter, was merely out for an afternoon of mixing pre-election year politics with football fever in what could have been called an early appeal for the disco vote.
"Our being here today in this Redskins rally is symbolic about how we want to rally around the future of this city," Tucker told the mostly young audience. "What the Redskins are all about is what the city's all about, making things better, making people feel good."
The afternoon provided one of the infrequent opportunities where Tucker, who like the other mosttalked about candidates still is technically unannounced, could press the flesh with potential voters and campaign workers. Even the 53-year-old Council chairman himself, would not dismiss the obvious political overtones of the event and the near certainty that he will run for Mayor next year.
"It would be ridiculous for me to try to give the impression that that's a thought far from my mind," Tucker said.
Tucker's embryonic campaign organization received no funds from the event. But several key Tucker advisers said privately that any opportunity for their potential candidate to get out and meet people was certainly not to be overlooked.
Notabley absent from the affair were most of the usual city political types and government officials. However, Council member Nadine P. Winter (D-Six) was there. "I'm not supporting; I just dropped in," Winter quickly volunteered. Later, she offered a different explanation for being there. "I am supporting now," she said. "I'm supporting the Redskins."