Anyone who was paying any attention at all in 2004 remembers John Kerry’s ill-fated attempt to consume Philadelphia’s signature sandwich – the cheesesteak – by ordering one with swiss, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo. Someday my quest to get Philadelphia known as the city of the low calorie, vegan cheesesteak will be realized, but for now politicians need to navigate this grease bomb at their peril.
Now Senator John McCain has a South Philly screw up of his own. From yesterday’s Daily News (somehow I missed it):
Now John McCain has seemingly fallen into a South Philly political pothole.
Promising to try to woo black voters, McCain told radio interviewer Tavis Smiley, “I know that I’m not going to get a majority of the African-American vote. But I’m going to campaign all over this country. I’m going to go to South Philadelphia, I’m going to go to the Black Belt in Alabama . . .”
If McCain wants to win over black voters, first he’d better know where to find them.
South Philly has changed from a mostly Italian-heritage enclave to one that includes growing numbers of Asians and Hispanics. According to the latest census, while Philadelphia is a majority-minority city, African-Americans are less than a third of the population in South Philadelphia.
The op-ed writer goes on to challenge the press to have as much fun with this gaffe, one that shows McCain just as out of touch with urban realities as Kerry was with working-class, blue-collar, cholesterol lovers.