Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Katz! Now and forever

Some people just won't give politics a rest -- not even a day or two after an election that has exhausted most of us. I'm talking specifically about my own newspaper, the Daily News, which highlights Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the coming 2011 mayoral election on today's front page, but I guess the same could be said about Sam Katz, who, if he indeed is a candidate next year, will have sought the big office on the 2nd floor of City Hall more times than Christine O'Donnell has run for Senate in Delaware. (Another similarity -- neither is up for a job at Fox News Channel, but I digress).

Katz! Now and forever

Some people just won't give politics a rest -- not even a day or two after an election that has exhausted most of us. I'm talking specifically about my own newspaper, the Daily News, which highlights Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the coming 2011 mayoral election on today's front page, but I guess the same could be said about Sam Katz, who, if he indeed is a candidate next year, will have sought the big office on the 2nd floor of City Hall more times than Christine O'Donnell has run for Senate in Delaware. (Another similarity -- neither is up for a job at Fox News Channel, but I digress).

I'd like to see a new mayor take office and bring some dynamism to Philadelphia government in January 2012, but frankly Sam Katz -- no offense, because I like the guy the personally -- is arguably less new than Nutter, and ditto for some of the other retreads and out-and-out hacks like Jonathan Saidel (good grief) thinking about throwing their hats in the ring. Someone from completely outside of our current political arena would be refreshing -- yes, even a businessman as long as it's not some global-warming denying kook like Wisconsin Sen.elect Ron Johnson -- and it would also be nice to see more reflection of the diversity of a city in which a woman has never so much as received 10 percent of the mayoral primary vote and in which there has never been a major mayoral candidate who was openly gay, or Latino, or etc., etc. etc.

Ironically, there were times in following politics here -- especially when I was the Daily News' political writer from 1996 through 2000 -- when I would have been pretty excited about either Katz or Nutter running the city. In 1999, Katz almost won as a Republican with some wonky good ideas about attracting business here, but he ran a fairly lame standard-issue-GOP encore campaign in 2003 (managed  by, ahem, a certain recent ex-boss of mine) and as a Democrat most likely backed by corrupt ex-mayor John Street and angling heavily for disaffected black voters, God knows who we'd get in 2011. Nutter has not been a bad mayor -- he strikes me as Obama-esque in both being saddled with a lousy economy and in an inability to inspire -- and his administraton is unusually graft-free for Philadelphia, but the city needs more cowbell for the 2010s, no?

Instead, it's just another revival show -- Katz, now and forever. Sigh.

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Will Bunch
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