Historic Philadelphia Honors Ed Rendell, Gerry Lenfest and Karen Butler

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Last Wednesday, Historic Philadelphia Inc honored Governor Ed Rendell, Gerry Lenfest, Karen Butler, the William Penn Foundation and PECO. The evening convened at the Historic Philadelphia Center at Sixth and Chestnut streets, at 5:30 p.m. Following cocktails, guests moved to Independence Hall, where they experienced a scene from Historic Philadelphia’s Independence After Hours tour with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams arguing about who should write the Declaration of Independence. From there, guests headed to City Tavern to enjoy Chef Walter Staib’s authentic Revolutionary-era recipes. Historic Philadelphia, Inc. will be hosting its seventh annual “An Evening in Franklin Square” presented by Parx Casino on Thursday, May 14th.
Photos after the jump »

WATCH: John Oliver on Infrastructure, Featuring Ed Rendell

Posts about John Oliver ethering someone have become an Internet tradition, but please forgive us this week: Last night’s episode of Last Week Tonight featured Ed Rendell!

Rendell wasn’t interviewed on the show, but it featured a clip of a 60 Minutes report from last year that included this tale:

In 2008 two contractors from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation stopped to get a sausage sandwich, and parked their cars under this bridge.

Ed Rendell: And fortunately they wanted that sausage sandwich because they saw one of these piers with an eight-foot gash in it about five inches wide. And oh, they knew automatically that this bridge was in deep trouble.

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The Brief: Doug Oliver Doubles Down on Being Vague

Last night, I interviewed long-shot mayoral candidate Doug Oliver at Venturef0rth as part of Citified’s new Candidate Conversations series.

Going into the Q&A, my big question was: Does Oliver deserve to be in the major leagues?

He’s never held elected office before. His exploratory committee had only $1,085 in the bank at the end of 2014. And yet, former Gov. Ed Rendell has called him “enthusiastic,” “refreshing” and “charming.”

During the interview, I found Oliver to be energetic and honest and passionate about the city. But he was also stunningly vague at times, and perhaps more surprisingly, unapologetic about his lack of specific proposals to fix the city’s problems. Toward the end of the Q&A, I told Oliver I thought the mayor’s race in general has suffered from a dearth of ideas. (You can watch the full exchange above.)

As a candidate who has pitched himself as someone with “fresh eyes,” I asked him what his big idea is for the city. He doubled down on being vague.

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Could Ed Rendell Endorse Long-Shot Candidate Doug Oliver for Mayor?

Photo Credit: X

Ed Rendell and Doug Oliver | Photo Credit: Left, Shutterstock.com. Right, Mitchell Leff.

[Curious about Doug Oliver? Register to attend one of Philly mag’s forthcoming Q&As with the mayoral candidates at this link. On Monday, Feb. 23, Citified’s Holly Otterbein interviews Oliver. The event is at VentureF0rth, and it’s free and open to the public.]

The prospect of Ed Rendell endorsing Doug Oliver for mayor is insane. Oliver has almost no money, nearly no name recognition and absolutely no experience in elected office. It would never happen, right?

Actually, maybe it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

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Lynne Abraham: Can a Woman Win the Philadelphia Mayor’s Race?

Photograph by Colin Lenton

Photograph by Colin Lenton

It seems an unlikely thing to be doing with Lynne Abraham.

On a cool, breezy Friday in New York in December, we’re at the Frick, looking at paintings. Vermeer’s Mistress and Maid is a favorite of hers, and we gaze intently; it depicts a servant handing her lady a letter. Abraham points out the lady’s ambiguous expression, either worry or hope over the letter’s contents, and perhaps the servant has already read it — we don’t know. “Vermeer was a great master of light,” Abraham notes. Sunlight floods the lady’s writing desk and picks out her pearl earring, bathing the moment’s tension. “What’s the message she’s getting?” Read more »

DNC Takes One Last Look at Philly

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is visiting Philadelphia today, part of a trip to give a last look to the three finalists to host the party’s 2016 presidential nominating commission. Mayor Nutter and former Gov. Ed Rendell were expected to host her team.

“Nutter was expected to help lead a tour of the city’s convention venues and historical highlights, such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, to remind DNC officials why Philadelphia is the best choice in terms of logistics, hotel rooms, security and convention space, according to the person familiar with the plans,” AP reported.

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What’s Ed Rendell Up To?

Just a few minutes ago, Ed Rendell tweeted — or, more precisely, re-tweeted — this:

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That links to our piece last week about how Rendell leads incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey in a hypothetical 2016 election matchup for Toomey’s seat.

So. What’s Rendell up to? Sending a signal? Or having a little fun at Toomey’s expense? The kids call it “trolling,” Ed. And you’re still the Pennsylvania politician who does it best.

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