Pulse: Chatter: Power: Rendell Redux?

Looking for a new savior in some old faces

It’s serious enough that people are at least talking about it—and at the city’s most rarefied levels of power. Former mayor John Street e-mailed Comcast executive David L. Cohen regarding what he considered a nonsensical rumor: Was it true that Governor Rendell might run for mayor of Philadelphia—again—challenging Michael Nutter in 2011?

Rendell—never particularly close to Nutter—says no: “The only way I’d run for mayor is if all 1.4 million people in Philadelphia signed a petition asking me to do so. Including Mayor Nutter, whom I support.” That hasn’t stopped the power crowd from hoping. According to one influential Philly exec, lots of movers and shakers think the solution to the city’s problems lies in a Rendell run. “I know people who asked Ed if he’d consider it,” says the CEO. “People are upset. There’s no communication from the current mayor, no direction, no sense that there’s anyone there.”  

The nostalgia apparently doesn’t stop with Rendell: Some local king-makers are hankering for Bill Green III—Philly’s mayor from 1980 to 1983 (and father of current city councilman Bill Green IV)—as a potential challenger. “I’ve heard people bring up his name,” says political consultant Larry Ceisler. “I don’t remember this kind of talk of a Democratic challenger when John Street was running for reelection, and when you think about how unpopular John Street was, that gives you some indication of where this thing is right now.”