HERE we go again.

For how many times now has this scene between Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and his vice, Mike Rama, played out?

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Rama makes a statement Osmeña does not like; Osmeña criticizes, sometimes verbally pummels, him; Rama backs off (or is it kneels down?); both claim there’s no crack in their relationship.

Displeasure

The cycle repeated itself recently when Rama, who must learn to speak clearly and directly (as well as concisely), was quoted as saying he is willing to collaborate (or cooperate) with Osmeña’s political rival, Gov. Gwen Garcia, for the good of Cebu.

For the mayor, any word that essentially means “getting friendly” with the governor, like “collaboration” or “cooperation” always sounds grating to the ear.

So he whacks Rama’s head with his right hand and pats his back with his left.

Translation: He expressed displeasure at what Rama said but refuses to let him go, saying he still deserves to be city mayor.

Convenience

So what does that make of the Rama-Osmeña relationship?

It’s no love-hate relationship; rather, it is a marriage of convenience.

If you look closely, there’s nothing more contradictory than the character and leadership style of Rama and Osmeña, but they are forced to put up with each other’s idiosyncrasies for political survival.

Rama knows he can’t win an election without Osmeña, and Osmeña has realized that, at least in this election, he needs Rama if he were to win the congressional race in the city’s south district against Jonathan Guardo.

Pretense

But Mike can never be Tomas; he is diplomatic in his personal and political dealings with people and can never be as combative and cruel as his boss.

It must have been a sacrifice of monumental proportion for him to act meek and submissive to his boss or pretend he is a follower of the Osmeña way.

At this stage, one can almost hear him mutter to himself about Osmeña: just wait until I get to be mayor.

But then again, that is what a marriage of convenience is supposed to be about: the pretense ends only after the goal is reached.