Presidential election gets “nutter”er and “nutter”er every day


The Washington Post, your score sheet for the inside-the-beltway games, has a brief article about the endorsement of Senator Clinton by our own mayor, Michael Nutter.  Like many of the folks in this town who have already talked about this, the story includes the obligatory references to the scores of “nobody” who thought that Pennsylvania would matter in the process because of its late primary date:

Nutter’s endorsement of Clinton in December seemed inconsequential at the time. After all, no one in the political world believed the race would last beyond Feb. 5, Super Tuesday.  


But, as the race has gone on (and on), Pennsylvania has become more and more relevant, and Nutter has emerged as a far more central figure in the ongoing debate over whether black elected officials should line up behind Obama and his potentially history-making candidacy.

The article also goes the route of comparing Obama’s story to Nutter’s – progressive, young, African-American, rises up through the ranks and stands on the cusp of the biggest office possible, etc.  These stories often forget about all of the talk about Nutter before the mayoral race when he “had no natural constituency” or when he was a wonk without personality.

 Now he’s the mayor who fires up the crowd with his hip hop skills, has a few hundred Philadelphians over to City Hall for some good television (where was my Sopranos season finale, Mayor Street!) and takes to the newspapers to advocate for more good scripted offerings on the tube

The fact is, Nutter’s story actually lines up a lot closer to Senator Clinton’s.  They’re both smart, aggressive, opportunistic politicians who got into politics at a young age, played the system correctly and have gained actual “experience” with the government they sought (or are seeking) to lead.  If anything, Nutter wasn’t the “Obama” of the 2007 Mayor’s race.  He was much closer to being the Clinton.  No one really came close to playing the Obama role unless you equate eloquence and inspirational rhetoric with dollars and ducats (Knox).  

Clearly Obama is a far smarter, better, more inspirational candidate than Knox but he does have the “flash” in this race against Clinton.  I observed many young people who said they would support Tom Knox, probably based solely on what they had seen of him in his campaign ads and the no-nonsense “outsider” and “change” message that he was peddling.  In the end, the people of Philadelphia chose Nutter’s substance over the flash of Knox’s campaign ads.  

It remains to be seen what Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation’s Democrats will do this time.


One Response to “Presidential election gets “nutter”er and “nutter”er every day”

  1. The campaign train lays some track in Philly « Y-Decide 2008 Says:

    […] black and, my goodness, not automatically endorsing the black candidate.  This article, unlike the one I wrote about yesterday, spends a good deal of time harping on the fact that Nutter’s choice of Clinton is probably […]

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