Pulse: Chatter: Just Don’t Call Him Two-Faced

The politics of the Palm

Even if you don’t know John Saler — Stradley Ronon lobbyist, political insider, onetime film producer — chances are you know his face. Especially if you dine at the Palm, where his mug shows up twice on the famous walls that pay homage to two decades of Philly movers and shakers. So how does a guy get double billing on the Wall of Fame, where even Ed Rendell only pops up once? “I didn’t like my first picture,” Saler laughs. “When I was younger, that really meant something to me.” These days, he’s known as the guy who landed the big Wawa sponsorship for this month’s Welcome America celebration.

Still, such duplicates are rare, notes Palm general manager Jim Haney. There’s playboy Harry J. Katz, and former judge Gene Cohen, who redeemed $15,000 in Palm points for a sketch that included his wife. Saler thinks he’s spotted two Kathleen Turners; Haney can’t confirm that. (There are 800 faces.) As for Saler’s second take? “It’s a better picture, though they put me next to a guy I didn’t much care for”—ex-Philly weatherman Craig Weber. “I didn’t have the gall to tell them that.”