And a happy July Fourth to Mayor Nutter — or will it be?
The mayor was on hand to help kick off the 10-day Welcome America festival last weekend, making an appearance at Penn’s Landing, where a concert and fireworks show took place.
He was introduced. He got on stage. And then came the boos. Loud, repetitive and distinct.
They came just as Nutter was getting ready to hand the microphone over to Morris Day & The Time. (Think Purple Rain, circa 1984?)
And they also came from an audience that was mostly African American — interesting, since a winter poll by the Pew Charitable Trusts indicated that the mayor was far more popular with whites in the city than African Americans.
Of course, being mayor and being booed is hardly unique to Nutter. John F. Street was on the receiving end of an unhappy audience in 2004, when he was introduced at the opening of Philadelphia’s new ballpark. And Ed Rendell was shouted down at an Eagles game.
“It’s Philadelphia. Santa Claus got booed, and it’s a tough home crowd,” Nutter spokesman Doug Oliver said.
He added: “If only we could be so lucky as to have a story written every time that same audience cheered for the mayor, because he is frequently well-received.”
UPDATE: Good news for the mayor, according to Oliver. Nutter took the stage about 8 p.m. Saturday to introduce the Philadelphia Orchestra, and guess what? No boos. There's more. "Very diverse crowd - including African Americans," Oliver wrote in an email. "Big cheer."
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