Anybody Wanna Run for Mayor?

Help wanted: Republican Party in country’s fifth-largest

city seeks candidate for mayor. Must have money or rich

friends to pay for campaign. Republican beliefs optional.

The Republican Party in Philadelphia is in a bad way. It hasn’t gotten one of its own elected mayor since the 1940s and its two most successful mayoral candidates of the past fifty years were Democrats who switched parties to avoid a primary election they knew they couldn’t possibly win. Their candidate in the last election was yet another Democrat lured by the opportunity to run for mayor, a total nonentity who barely campaigned and went back to being a Democrat before the last lawn signs were picked up and tossed in the trash.

People complain about one-party rule in Philadelphia, but it’s sort of like the joke about the old Jew who complained to god because he didn’t win the lottery.

“God, I don’t understand, I’m a good person, I raised three children who all became good people, why didn’t I win the lottery?”

When he didn’t win the following week, he again complained.

“God, I follow all 613 of your commandments. Isn’t that good enough? Why didn’t I win the lottery?”

When he didn’t win the following week, he complained yet again.

“God, I’m a good person, I give generously to charity and I’ve persuaded to my children to give to charity as well. So why don’t I win the lottery?

A roar of thunder echoed across the sky, the old man dropped to his knees, and a voice rang out from on high:

“Meet me halfway, Mr. Goldberg. Buy a ticket.”

And that’s the Republicans’ problem and the answer to the complaints about one-party rule in Philadelphia: they’re not meeting the voters halfway. If they want to elect a Republican mayor and end one-party rule they need to put up a half-decent candidate – and Philadelphia’s Republicans have seldom come even remotely close to doing that.

It looks like this year will be more of the same. A former spokesman for the city’s current Democratic mayor briefly considered running as a Republican but changed his mind, perhaps because he realized there’s something seriously wrong with a black man who is a Republican anything, and is running as a Democrat instead. It doesn’t matter: the guy’s so clueless that he officially announced his candidacy on a weekend and got virtually no news coverage. If a press guy doesn’t know better than to try to make news on a weekend, imagine how clueless he’d be trying to lead a major city.

The Republicans had another possible candidate, a Democrat who switched to run as a Republican in the past – three times, with less success each time – and is considering one more run, but he just switched his registration to “Independent” because he knows he has about as much chance of getting elected mayor running as a Republican as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has of being named the B’nai Brith man of the year.

The city’s Republican Party asked the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, who just reached the court’s mandatory retirement age and is now out of work, if he’d consider running. He said thanks but no thanks because he’s been down that road before, running for mayor in 1991 and winning only a third of the votes in the Republican primary. Clearly, he knows better.

The Republicans are so hard up, in fact, that they reportedly asked the executive director of the city’s housing authority to run for mayor even though he’s virtually unknown to the public, has only been in Philadelphia for a few years, and there’s no reason to believe he’s even a Republican.

Which shows you how desperate they are.

There are a few long-time elected Republican officials who could run, but they won’t: one who’s been on the city council for thirty-five years and has never accomplished anything because he puts no real effort into his job; a one-time speaker of the state House who was ousted from that job after a single term and ran successfully for city council only so he wouldn’t have to work for a living; and another state representative who’s very highly regarded, has been around forever, but apparently is intimidated by the possibility of needing to do anything other than sit on the sidelines and criticize and is more comfortable just collecting his safe state paycheck.

So if you’re interested in running for mayor of Philadelphia and desperate enough to do it as a Republican, Philadelphia’s Republican Party wants YOU. Give them a call: all volunteers are welcome, the standards are almost non-existent, and it’ll look great on your resume.


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  • kram88  On February 19, 2015 at 9:03 am

    I was with you up until you said “it’ll look great on your resume” (unless you leave the word Republican out, I suppose).

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