And that is why the situation should set off alarm bells for the mayor. The relationship, though honestly and honorably derived, has become increasingly asymmetrical as Ms. Rawlings-Blake's career has progressed. It's nobody's fault, but the fact is that women's closeness now diminishes the mayor's standing and enhances the lobbyist's. There is no law prohibiting the mayor from being friends with a lobbyist, and there probably shouldn't be. As is often said in these situations, you can't legislate common sense. But by maintaining the same close, personal relationship she might have had if she were not mayor and Ms. Harris Jones were not a lobbyist, Ms. Rawlings-Blake is displaying a real lack of it. If Ms. Harris Jones is unwilling to recuse herself from lobbying at City Hall, then the mayor should put their friendship on hold until after she leaves office. We understand that would be a wrenching decision for the mayor to make, but it is what the city she leads deserves.