Turns out Ben Waxman isn’t going to take another run at State Rep. Brian Sims after all.
Waxman, the political consultant who gave Sims a bit of a scare last year – he took 34 percent of the vote to Sims’ 40 percent in a four-way Democratic primary – announced this week that he had changed his mind about making a 2018 sequel.
“I am extremely grateful for all the contributions that I have received thus far – both this year and my original run in 2016. However, after further reflection, I have decided that it is not the right time for me to run for the legislature,” Waxman wrote to supporters on Tuesday.
We’re going to miss watching these two archenemies lob verbal bombs across the 182nd District, which stretches from Spring Garden to South Philly.
But to celebrate this truce, we’d like to tell you about the time we almost got caught in the Sims-Waxman cross fire.
Last month, Clout sidles up to the bar at Bank & Bourbon and ordered a bottle of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, as Clout is prone to do. Sims is sitting at one end of the bar. Waxman walks in and sits at the other.
Oh my, we think between sips, do they sell popcorn here?
“What is the cheapest bourbon you have?” Waxman mischievously asks the bartender. Not for him. For Sims.
The bartender pours a Jim Beam and walks it over to the state representative. A drink, courtesy of your challenger. But then the bartender turns around and makes the long walk back – drink still in hand.
“He sent it back,” Waxman mutters, with what could be the slightest trace of respect for Sims.
The room gets tense. Too tense for happy hour.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” the bartender says.
Must not be a Clout reader. Check, please?
Speaking of conflicts in politics …
This is a very interesting idea — that will probably end in tears.
Clout’s first reaction: Doesn’t everyone just whip out their phones to Yelp about a bartender who takes a little too long to pour a drink or the medium-rare cheeseburger that comes out charred like a hockey puck?
Turns out, no.
Yelp Metrics tells us the website, which offers users a grading scale from one to five stars, is a much happier place than we imagined. Forty-seven percent of the reviews awarded five stars, while just 15 percent awarded one star.
That took a while to build. Yelp reports that it recorded 135 million reviews as of June 30. But it has been collecting them since 2005. And the first five years of input were pretty slow, compared with the last five years.
So it took Yelp a while to become Yelp. Will it take Jefferson’s List a while to become Jefferson’s List?
T.J. Hurst, one of the site’s founders, said this is the time for users to claim their profiles and flesh them out with expertise and contact information. They hope to have the review system rolling next year, during the 2018 midterm elections.
Back to why this could end in tears: Is there any industry in which people are harsher to each other than political consulting? We expect to recommend handling some of these entries with oven mitts.
Love is in the air?
Every now and then, Clout comes across a tip that rekindles something resembling actual warmth in the charcoal lump we call our heart.
Such was the case this month when a tipster told us that senior U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Marjorie “Midge” Rendell had remarried.
She and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell divorced in 2016, five years after they formally separated. That union was long dogged by rumors that “Fast Eddie” engaged in numerous extramarital affairs, charges that he often inelegantly denied.
No matter. Midge, 69, has herself a new man. Sources tell Clout that she married Arthur Tilson, a 74-year-old former Montgomery County Court judge, last month. She did not respond to requests for comment, while Tilson’s voicemail instructed callers to leave a message for “Midge and Art.”
And, well, now we’re getting emotional. Let’s raise a glass to these two crazy kids — just not cheap bourbon.
Staff writers William Bender, Chris Brennan, and David Gambacorta contributed to this column. Tips: firstname.lastname@example.org.