Jim Kenney and Doug Oliver. | Photo by Jeff Fusco.
1. Kenney attacked, in debate and (potentially) on TV, and Doug Oliver generates the most poignant moment of the campaign.
The gist: Jim Kenney was again the top target at a mayoral debate, and the subject of a new attack ad launched by the Anthony Williams campaign (more on that ad later today).
Earlier, at a different mayoral forum organized by Ed Rendell, Doug Oliver asked an audience of schoolchildren for a show of hands: first, he wanted to know, who thinks of the police as friends? Second, he asked, who thinks the police are not your friends? Brian Hickey at Newsworks reports that fewer than five hands were raised in response to the first question; more than 60 to the second. Writes Hickey:
“Poignant,” is the word that former mayor and governor Ed Rendell used to describe it.
Oliver later said that it was a moment of “overwhelming sadness” for him.
Sensing that there might have been adult-intervention in crafting what seemed to be a loaded question, Oliver said he wanted to get a read on the life experiences of the fourth and fifth graders in the room.
“My assumption was that they didn’t [have personal experience with police brutality]. I didn’t want to poison the well, so I asked affirmatively. What I saw required the next question,” he told NinetyNine.
“When I saw all the hands, I almost lost my train of thought. If this is what you feel as fourth and fifth graders, we have a lot of work to do,” he continued. “There’s an overwhelming sadness that the seeds of bad relationships are already being planted and we have to get to work on this as early as the first grade. It’s not just the adults in the communities. These are bright kids with a positive worldview. Adults, we’re to blame for this.”
Why it matters: Internal polling from more than one source shows that Kenney is opening up a sizable lead in this race. But more telling that any poll is the behavior of the candidates. The fact that Kenney is being attacked by all sides strongly suggests that — at least at this moment — he has the lead, and perhaps a substantial one.
And Oliver’s string of strong performances continues. More than any candidate in the race, Oliver seems to be creating a reservoir of goodwill that, if he chooses to, he can draw on in the future. Read more »