Who Really Runs This Town?: Who Would You Call Back First?

In our survey sent out to 190 of Philadelphia’s power brokers, we posed a question: If you came back from lunch and the following 11 people had called while you were out, with no message other than to call them back, in what order would you return the calls?

The 11:

Jon Bon Jovi
Milton Street
Allen Iverson
Angelo Cataldi
Ed Rendell
Brian Roberts
Lynne Abraham
Andy Reid
Inga Saffron
John Street
Hurricane Schwartz

Our averaged-out results suggest that among Philadelphia’s elite, business trumps politics: Comcast CEO Brian Roberts gets the first call back, followed by Governor Ed Rendell (who may have been hurt by a few respondents guessing that he was calling for money).

A couple trends emerged: Many of our high-and-mighty — noting only a few of the 11 they’d deign to dial back — apparently don’t feel the need to return calls. And there was real anger toward some of the pink slips piled on power-broker desks: One respondent, for example, wrote that he would NEVER call Lynne Abraham, Inga Saffron, Hurricane Schwartz or Milton Street; he dismissed Mayor Street with perhaps an even worse WHO CARES?

The Streets, in fact — both Milton and John — took a particular battering. One respondent noted that he’d likely call a telemarketer back before the Mayor; another wouldn’t return a call to John Street because “I hate the sound of his voice,” and wouldn’t call Milton, either, because “I don’t like others listening to my conversation”—ouch. An unusually polite respondent said she would answer the calls in the order they were received, except for Milton’s—he’d never hear from her.

The callback order
(as averaged from our survey):
1. Brian Roberts
2. Ed Rendell
3. Andy Reid
4. Allen Iverson
5. Lynne Abraham
6. Jon Bon Jovi
7. John Street
8. Inga Saffron
9. Angelo Cataldi
10. Hurricane Schwartz (alas, the survey was conducted pre-Katrina)
11. Milton Street