We're here at the Famous Fourth Street Deli where all of Philadelphia's political elite gather on Election Day to talk shop and eat pastrami on rye. Keep refeshing this post for all the news from the diner...
2:10 pm -- We love the Famous for who shows up on election day. But just as telling in political circles is who doesn't show up. U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, chairman of the City Democratic Committee, and former City Controller Jon Saidel, a candidate for lieutenant governor today, are apparently out pounding the pavement and knocking on doors in search of voters. Political consultant Neil Oxman, sitting at a table with former Mayor Bill Green, Philadelphia Magazine editor Larry Platt and MSNBC's Chris Matthews, gave Mayor Nutter a bit of guff for not being out in wards during lunch. Nutter is the leader of the city's 52nd ward.
1:50 pm -- Mayor Nutter just said that the key to a victory for Sen. Arlen Specter in this region will be driving up turnout later in the day. “I think what’s key is having more workers out knocking on doors,” he said. “With ponchos, umbrellas, all kinds of paraphernalia.”
Nutter also echoed Rendell’s defense of President Obama’s involvement in the race. “He is the president of the United States and he has a lot of things going on. No one is doubting President Obama and Vice President Biden’s support."
1:30 pm -- Governor Ed Rendell just acknowledged that rain isn’t helpful for Sen. Arlen Specter. “Rain’s not good for anybody,” he said. “But it’s rainy all over the state. We’re a late voting town anyway.”
Rendell also said that President Barack Obama, who has not come to campaign for Specter in person, has been helpful in many ways, including his ads. "There isn't a Democrat in this town who doesn't know who Barak Obama is for," he said.
1:20 pm -- Sen. Arlen Specter just arrived on the scene. He thanked members of IBEW Local 98 who are holding signs outside before heading into the Famous. Asked how things are going, he said: “I feel good. Joan and I have been racing around town. I’d prefer to have the sun out. But I’ve been at this line of work long enough to play the cards that are dealt.”
1:05 pm -- Former District Attorney Lynne Abraham, who didn’t endorse any of the Democrats running for governor, predicted a win for Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, the front-runner, though she has been impressed with the campaign run by state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams of Philadelphia. “Even if he comes up short in the gubernatorial race, it raises his name recognition in Harrisburg,” She said of Williams. “That can’t be bad.”
On the Specter-Sestak race, Abraham naturally sided with the one-time District Attorney now seeking a sixth six-year term in the Senate. “I was for Arlen 43 years ago,” Abraham said. “You never count Arlen out. He’s very resourceful.” Abraham called Sestak’s surge to a dead heat with Specter, “Really fascinating.”
1 pm --Councilman Bill Green, who also endorsed Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, said state Sen. Tony Williams didn’t ask him for his support. “He didn’t ask me for my support. I felt like we needed a proven executive in the governor’s office,” he said.
12:40 pm -- As we expected, District Attorney Seth Williams says that so far it’s been a slow, rainy day at the polls. “From a District Attorney standpoint of monitoring elections it’s been pretty quiet,” Williams said. “We were expecting a lot more of the political knife-fights when it comes to the ward contests.”
12:25 pm - Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., who endorsed Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato for governor over hometown state Sen. Anthony Williams, told us today that he made the choice for policy reasons. “I’ve explained this to Tony who is a friend that sometimes the choices aren’t between good and evil they’re between good better and best,” he said.
Noon -- We just caught up with State Rep. Mike O’Brien and talked with him about a mailer he’s sent around which notes his support from women’s groups like NOW and Planned Parenthood, and features a picture of an attractive blonde woman with boxing gloves.
The ad notes that O’Brien has moxie. And O’Brien stood by that today.
“I like strong women. I respect strong women. I think I remember a time that wanted ads were broken into “help wanted female,” O’Brien said. “The definition of modern woman is someone who can be strong ,someone who can be forceful…and someone who can still be feminine and attractive.”