JONATHAN VALANIA REPORTS: Michael Nutter speaks in complete paragraphs, with subsections A., B., and C. and attendant footnotes, which also have their own subsections A., B., and C. He is overflowing with good ideas, not just slogans. Smart, principled, and aspirational. Spidey senses tingling. Is he the The One to lead us out of of the Matrix of our own bullshit? (Spidey senses also warning against crossing metaphors) True, he needs a joke writer or a court jester. (Although he did just describe himself as “just another unemployed guy from West Philly looking for a job.”) His only crime is being a little too wonky and not enough of a song and dance man, but that you can learn on the job. Look at what a pussycat John Street has become.
On crime: wants to put 500 more cops on the street over next four years and seems to understand Stop Snitchin’ — as Councilman he spearheaded a number of initiatives for improving police/community relations. Both are badly needed but the combining of the two is absolutely crucial. On schools: He is the only Dem running for mayor that has a child in a Philadelphia public school — that alone makes him the only candidate that has a vested interest in reforming the school system and a willingness to put his own flesh and blood on the line to prove it. It’s easy to talk about improving the public school system while writing the tuition checks to Germantown Friends. It’s another matter entirely to put your kid in the mouth of the lion while you are trying to tame it. On gambling: Citizens have a right to fight the casinos and are right to fight the casinos, the locations chosen are all wrong…Wants to revise zoning code — here, here. Seems to see Chicago as a viable model for Philly to aspire to, I couldn’t agree more. Wilco lives there. I like Wilco.
In truth, the race seems to be breaking Nutter’s way. On the heels of a ringing endorsement from the Inquirer comes a new NBC10 poll that puts Nutter in a statistical dead heat with Knox, almost doubling his numbers since an earlier version of the poll showed him at 14% — a strong indicator that he is picking up all the undecided wallflowers left at the prom, where nobody dances with the one that brung ya. Not sure what it will take to raise the tide so it lifts all our boats, but out of all the people running for mayor, Michael Nutter seems to best-equipped to figure it out. Smile. [SNAP!] Thanks for playing, and good luck to you, Sir.