Power: An Open Letter to Mayor Nutter

You ran as a reformer, promising to clean up the city’s old-school politics. Six months into “New Day, New Way,” we’re wondering: When are you going to start?

We realize you’re a political person, but you’re also more than that. You’re a leader who came into our offices and talked to us about “the moral obligation” to challenge the status quo. As a result, we’re still in your corner, so consider this a pep talk and a call to arms. You no doubt have a rationale for the steps you’ve taken, or not taken, on the issues we’ve raised. But the collective impression you’re creating is that the bold, passionate straight-talker of the campaign trail is focused on avoiding confrontation as mayor. Perhaps you can be an effective mayor by being careful. But you certainly won’t be a transformative one.

Our advice — which is worth precisely what you’re paying for it — is to let it rip. Lead. You have the overwhelming support of this city; now is the time to spend your political capital and piss off some people. Remember the Tom Cruise character in Risky Business? Sometimes you’ve just got to say, “What the fuck.” (We were just struck by a funny image of you in your skivvies in City Hall, rocking out to Bob Seger. Come to think of it, on page 59 of this issue, you are in your skivvies.) To that end, we’ll close with the words from our May 2007 endorsement, in the hope that they stir in you the same sense of purpose you inspired in us: “We challenge [Michael Nutter] to do what Philadelphia needs: place principle over pragmatism, straight talk over obfuscation, the common good over the narrow interest. And if you elect him, we pledge to call him out should he fall short of walking the talk that inspired us to single him out as the best choice to lead this city.”


The Editors