When Bob Brady announced his mayoral candidacy on Thursday by declaring that "help is on the way," veterans of past Democratic campaigns may have felt a sense of deja vu. The line was the key refrain of John Kerry's 2004 acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention and a constant theme in the campaign that followed.
And the very next line of Brady's speech - "I'm Bob Brady, and I'm running for mayor" - evoked an even more distant Democratic standard-bearer. In 1976, a little-known Georgia politician introduced himself to voters by traveling the country declaring, "I'm Jimmy Carter, and I'm running for president."
A campaign source said that Brady had written the speech with consultant Ken Smukler, and that the line was supposed to be: "Help is on the way - Bob Brady's running for mayor." But as he went over it, Brady felt more comfortable with the introductory approach.
"It's totally coincidental," said campaign spokeswoman Andi Pringle. "It's not a borrowed line at all."- Michael Currie Schaffer
Who's the boss?
Steve Jones says he is the leader of the 52d Ward, and the ward met Jan. 18 and voted to support Bob Brady for mayor.
But Michael Nutter says, no, he is the leader of the 52d Ward, there was no vote to support Brady, and he has every intention of asking the ward to back his own candidacy.
What gives? Rules - and, for now, it's unclear who's following them.
For one thing, Nutter says Brady, head of the city's Democratic Party, assured him more than once in the past two weeks that he remains leader of West Philadelphia's 52d Ward. Although Jones moved to oust Nutter as ward chair in November, Nutter argues that Jones did not follow party rules about how to remove a ward chair.
Jones, though, was quite confident at Brady's announce- ment for mayor last week that he was indeed the ward leader. So much so that he mentioned that the 52d Ward - led by Nutter since 1990 - had voted unanimously to support Brady.
"I would have given Michael my right arm. But he mistreated people," Jones said. He wouldn't elaborate on the alleged mistreatment.
But Nutter contends that Jones again did not follow the rules. "There was no legitimate vote. As best I can tell, there was a pronouncement. That's it," Nutter said. As for the one guy charged with clearing up this little matter . . . well, Brady did not immediately return a call Friday.- Marcia Gelbart
A Common Pleas first
Last week was a busy one for Jonathan Saidel.
The former mayoral hopeful not only introduced Bob Brady as the newest entrant in the mayor's race. He also took time to give a big shout-out to judicial candidate Dan Anders.
Anders, 38 and a lawyer at Pepper Hamilton, is running as the first openly gay man for a seat on the Common Pleas Court. Besides Saidel, Anders' campaign kickoff last week at Barristers Bar & Grille also included other political heavyweights, such as City Councilman Frank DiCicco, mayoral candidate Tom Knox, City Controller Alan Butkovitz, and the current president judge of the Court of Common Pleas, C. Darnell Jones II.
"I've been helpful to the Democratic Party," Anders said, "and I think I'm seen as a community leader and, I hope, as the consensus candidate among various interest groups and in the different parts of our party." Yeah, but can he raise the money that a Philly judicial race requires, with sums going to ward leaders, so-called consultants and, of course, the Democratic Party itself to snag its endorsement?
Said Anders: "We'll have sufficient funds to do a traditional judicial race."- Marcia Gelbart
Saul, we hardly knew ye. It was barely long enough for a cup of coffee.
Democratic consultant Saul Shorr had agreed to work as part of the media team for U.S. Rep. Bob Brady's mayoral campaign, but he dropped out late last week.
"I decided to devote more time over the next six months to developing the non-political side of my business," said Shorr, who was a top strategist for now-U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D., Pa.) last year and has extensive experience in city campaigns.