Philadelphians: What do you want Mayor Nutter to do with his time?


I just got a press release from the office of the mayor outlining all of his accomplishments from his first 100 days in office. Stay tuned for more stories, like this one in the Inky, about that arbitrary chunk of time.

It’s been a while since I could even focus on Michael Nutter, the mayor of Philadelphia, since most of his public “face time” (aside from a spring cleaning a little while ago) has been as Michael Nutter, surrogate for Senator Hillary Clinton. I understand why he has to do this and, like I’ve written before, I even taken him on his word that his decision to support Clinton was not motivated by Obama’s early support of Chaka Fattah in the mayoral primary.

But how much is too much? The city itself is probably in the “leans Obama” category. Is Nutter, who did so well to unite Philadelphia behind his candidacy, threatening to divide the city along these presidential lines and hamper his ability to get widespread support?

Hopefully, this will all just go away after next Tuesday.

At least three different blogs have commented on – rather than just linked to – the New York Times piece on the oft-told story of Nutter’s endorsement of (gasp!) someone of a different race. Two have gone with the humorous “why don’t you tell us something we don’t already know route” while one was just happy to see Little Pete’s in the Times.

UPDATE: Philebrity has an interesting theory that has apparently been circulating around the political cocktail party circuit and the internets – Nutter was strong armed into endorsing Clinton:

One day last fall, The Nutter Office got a call one from the Clinton campaign headquarters, out of the blue, thanking Nutter for his support. A number of people in the office (re: everybody) were surprised to hear about it, since they were still in the process of debating which of the candidates to support. This was back when it wasn’t just Clinton v Obama, either: Edwards was still considered a serious candidate, and the rest of the crowd was still getting invited to debates and everything. So where did this come from? Some believe the call was made — if such a call was made — because a lot of the people on Nutter’s staff are friendly with the Clinton campaign from Way Back When, and a few friendly chats between staffers somehow turned into a black market endorsement, which bubbled into a full-fledged one, with rallies and fundraisers. Once the thank you call was made, Nutter didn’t really have a choice. If he backs out and Hillary won the nomination, it’d hurt him more than supporting her and then switching to Obama (if Obama wins the nomination) does. But for Nutter, though it may seem like a weird blind spot now, it could all work out in the end: He likes both Obama and Clinton, but is fighting the Clinton fight since he’s been stuck in it so long, and because both Clinton and Obama work for him.

Philebrity is quick to point out that while it has that story in blockquotes, it’s not because it can be attributed to any particular source but rather that the story has been passed around in pretty much that same form.  If anyone else has heard this rumor (from anywhere besides this blog and Philebrity), please let me know.  I’d love some confirmation on this.


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