Old Philly Politics: The Street-Brady Switcheroo

This story should be used as a case study for how insular and stifling Philadelphia politics can be:

If U.S. Rep. Bob Brady is a congressman beginning to sound like a mayor, is Mayor Street beginning to sound like a congressman?

Street has said he'd consider running for Congress after leaving office in 2008 if a seat is open, and at a Democratic fundraiser yesterday, Street stressed national Democratic themes.

"For the first time in my 62 years, I worry about the direction of this country," Street said, addressing the group.

Caetanus already expressed caution about Brady running, pointing to the insular nature in which he ran the party. For the most part, I agree. What has Bob Brady done to show he will be a good mayor? What stands has he taken? What policies has he supported?

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I have trouble right now seeing Chaka Fattah as a Mayor because to me, as a Philly Congressman, you have one of the less controversial jobs in the world, especially as a member of the minority party. But, at least Fattah has made some noise about education.

What has Bob Brady done, as Congressman or Chairman of the party that makes you think he stands for the right things? I really don't want to hear anything about a CEO Mayor, just like I didn't want to hear anything about a CEO President. I want to know what you stand for, why, and how you are going to implement it. I am not saying I would definitely not vote for Bob Brady. But I am saying we should ask for a lot more than that Carol Campbell and Marty Weinberg, not exactly pillars of forward thinking, are vouching for him.

As for Street running for Congress... I find it especially fitting that he would be potentially switching jobs with Brady. How else to show how insular the leaders of our City are than to have the Mayor and the Chairman of the party simply make a backroom deal to make the switch. I have no doubt that Street would be a loyal Democratic vote in the Congress, and its not like he doesn't know how to be a legislator. But, a 64 year-old freshman Congressman? Boy, that will be effective. You get the sense that this will be his retirement job.

I hope that we can be a little more ambitious when we think about who will represent us in the House for the next 20 years.

how stupid

i didn't think street could have a worse public showing than his horrific showing last week during his live appeal on the television where he was as heartless, wooden and uncaring a person could possibly be while delivering a speech pleading for an end to violence in the streets of philadelphia. not that a great speech would've stopped all violence in the streets, but the horribleness of it just made me angrier [and more violent!].

but him saying "For the first time in my 62 years, I worry about the direction of this country," Street said, addressing the group. - come on. i thought philadelphia was a part of this country. i thought it was the 5th largest city in this country. i thought that this city is the birthplace of this nation we live in. i guess he just didn't give a shit about it and let it go to shit as a result. it would've been nice if he gave a shit about this city and in turn this country in the last few years.
Albert Yee

What is most scary is the lik

What is most scary is the likelihood in which either one could be elected to the respective positions without creating a real agenda.

If Brady ran without recognizing young Philadelphians and activists, then the mayoral race would take on an added significance; avoiding an even further institutional prejudice against transparency and newcomers. So, I guess if I were advising Bob Brady on planning a run, I would say start becoming inclusive now or you will give lots of young Philadelphians reasons to work against you. Provided they can actually agree on something, they could be quite formidable.

Since odds are inclusiveness is not something that will be forthcoming, there needs to be a next step.

Street's wooden speech

John Street's bodyguards should be given specific instructions never to let him get near a TelePrompTer. They should draw their weapons if they have to. This is a guy I've seen deliver riveting, focused, dynamic speeches when he speaks from his heart. And I know he has strong feelings about kids getting murdered. But he is also a guy who freezes dead solid when he faces a TelePrompTer. I have no doubt Keel and Grace have told him this 100 times, so I have to assume it's stubborness that makes him persist.

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