The Power Fifty 2009: Why They Didn’t Make the List

John Perzel :: Smart, strategic and overly partisan, Perzel, our #2 in 2005, joined a string of Philadelphians who’ve been deposed from the State House Speaker’s chair by their own party. That and rumors of prosecutorial action on “Bonus-gate” derailed his gubernatorial ambitions.

Chaka Fattah :: He’s handsome, suave and articulate, and was once the rising Democrat to watch. But a race for mayor (which we predicted when we ranked him #17 on our ’05 list) exposed his lack of scope and skill, and underscored a congressional record with little accomplishment. A classic case of us reading more into someone than is there.

Arthur Makadon :: He’s still a go-to power broker, but he’s paid less attention of late to civic affairs while making sure his firm, Ballard Spahr, thrives in a decimated legal economy. Makadon was nicked by former Verizon chief Dan Whelan’s testimony in the Fumo trial, and with Rendell entering lame-duck status, his close relationship with the Guv means less than it used to.

Michael Smerconish :: It was a big coup getting that White House interview of Obama, but the national syndication of Smerconish’s radio show is good for him and bad for us — he now devotes just six minutes each hour to local stories. His take on regional politics and government was a potent one, but now he’s left another huge news hole in an underserved market.

Arlen Specter :: The great chameleon of Philadelphia politics, he traded his party membership, seniority, stature and self-respect to hold onto his Senate seat. But will he?