The Brief: Bob Brady Bear Hugs All Around, Philly Won the 2016 Democratic National Convention

On this, at least, the political class served the city exceptionally well.


Try the roast pork next time, Debbie.

There’s only one political story that matters in Philadelphia today, and that’s the city’s triumph in snagging the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

This is a huge win, not just for Philadelphia, but for the political actors who managed to best both New York (suck it guys—I mean, really) and Columbus, capital of ultra-swing state Ohio. The big boldfaced names you already know—Bob Brady, Ed Rendell, Michael Nutter and David L. Cohen—deserve a lot of credit, obviously. They worked together pretty well on this one, and that’s hardly a given.

Rendell was the public face of the campaign. Brady was hugger-in-chief, per the usual, really. Nutter and his team checked the endless list of logistical boxes the DNC needed filled by the host city. Cohen has ties to President Obama and the sort of proven fundraising prowess that made the DNC comfortable Philly can raise the cash it needs to host the convention. Nutter probably deserves an extra heaping of credit for picking his big event gambits carefully and well. He snagged the Pope, Jay-Z’s Made in America, and now the 2016 DNC convention. But he also passed on a long shot Olympics bid and opted out of the 2012 DNC sweepstakes in light “the extraordinary economic challenges” the city was facing. That’s some solid executive decision-making.

Let’s also spare a sentence or two for the lower profile staffers who did yeoman work in putting together the city’s bid, starting with one of the state’s premier young political operatives Kevin Washo, who was at the very center of the effort. Also: Nutter chief of staff Everett Gillison, up-and-coming political fundraiser Aubrey Montgomery, the city’s Jazelle Jones, political lawyer (and Citified insider) Adam Bonin, former Nutter aide and Allyson Schwartz’s son Jordan Schwartz, and political consultants Joe Corrigan, Dylan McGarry, Vaughn Ross and Sean Gavin. [Update: Citified was remiss not to mention as well Dana Fritz and Lila Rose.] [Updated yet again, with all credit to Nutter communications chief Desiree Peterkin-Bell, and Julie Coker Graham and Julie Mioli from from the Philadelphia Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. No doubt there are many, many others who played important roles they played.]

A Special DNC Only Edition of Don’t Miss…

  • “I hugged her every single day,” the hulking congressman said of DNC chairwoman Wasserman Schultz, who is roughly half his size. “Except for one day, she wasn’t there and I hugged her chief of staff and he’s a guy. I gave him a bear hug.”
  • Buzz Bissinger’s advice to 2016 delegates is pretty solid.
  • What’s the tangible upside for Philadelphians? How about a spit-polished SEPTA and an expansion of the brand-new bike share system (Really. It happened in Denver in ’08).
  • How will the city raise $84 million? By leaning on the likes of John Dougherty, David Cohen and Daniel J. Hilferty.

On Twitter…

(Yes, it’s probably crass to include my own Tweet, but…)