Ed Rendell to Make Endorsement for Mayor of Philadelphia

John Street and Michael Nutter endorsed Rebecca Rhynhart. Will she make it a former-mayor trifecta?

ed rendell, who is preparing to make an endorsement for mayor of Philadelphia

Ed Rendell, who is preparing to make an endorsement for Philadelphia mayor (Getty Images)

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Who Will Ed Rendell Endorse for Philadelphia Mayor?

With former Philadelphia mayors John Street and, as of this week, Michael Nutter endorsing former city controller Rebecca Rhynhart for mayor of Philadelphia, it got me wondering: Who will Ed Rendell, their predecessor, endorse? Will he even make an endorsement at all? And how much will his endorsement matter?

For answers, I went to the former mayor (and former governor of Pennsylvania) himself.

“I don’t generally like to make endorsements,” Rendell tells me. “But I think I have to for this one. This election is pivotal.”

While Nutter and Street have already committed, Rendell says he’s still weighing his options.

“I’m going to wait until the beginning of mail-in voting and see what the polls look like,” he adds.

I pressed Rendell to give me his shortlist. Eventually, in discussing the field, he said he had concerns that Derek Green and Maria Quiñones Sánchez weren’t raising enough money to be viable but later noted that there’s still time to bring in some bucks. At the end of the day, Rendell wouldn’t lock in a list of his top picks.

“There is a fairly deep bunch of people who I think could be mayor,” says Rendell. “And hopefully I’ll be in a position to push one of them through.”

But back to the final question: What would Rendell’s endorsement mean? What does the endorsement of any former mayor mean?

After Street endorsed Rhynhart, I spoke to political insider Joann Bell, who’s held a variety of positions at the city and state level. (You can read her impressive bio here.)

“How much did the Street endorsement help Rhynhart?” I asked Bell.

“It didn’t,” she said. “People were laughing, actually. These kinds of endorsements don’t necessarily move the needle.”

And even Rendell concedes that an Ed Rendell endorsement can only go so far.

“Endorsements are only helpful at the margin,” he explains. “If somebody is ten points behind and there are four weeks to go in the race, my endorsing that person isn’t going to make them win.”

Speaking of the Mayor’s Race

Yesterday, I delved into the life of John Wood, the guy who just drew the coveted first position on the mayoral ballot. He told me about being part of the presidential Marine One helicopter detail and even offered to have his cop-brother hook me up with free parking for the Flower Show. (You can read all about him here.) Today, Chris Brennan at the Inquirer questions whether Wood is really a lifelong Philadelphian, as he has claimed.

By the Numbers

21,000: Approximate number of people at Springsteen’s sold out show in South Philly last night.

68: Supposedly the high temperature in Philadelphia a week from today. We’re actually supposed to hit the 60s five days between today and then.

$30: Maximum discount for eligible families on broadband service under the city’s brand new Affordable Connectivity Program. The city’s similar PHLConnectED program ends in July.

There’s Now Apparently a Chicken Pier

Remember the dude who ate 40 rotisserie chickens in 40 days? (Read Foobooz’s awesome interview with said chicken-eater here.) Well, apparently Google Maps has been convinced that there’s now a pier in South Philly named in his honor:

Be sure to add Chicken Pier to your list of must-do activities with out-of-town guests.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

A few helpful links to get you through the day:

It’s Not Patty, It’s Paddy — St. Patrick if You’re Nasty

WTF Are Irish Potatoes?

Philadelphia and the Demise of Uncle O’Grimacey, McDonald’s Onetime Shamrock Shake Mascot

Philly Mag’s Utterly Exhaustive Guide to St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawls and Parties

And from the Bring-‘Em-Home Sports Desk …

With Zack Wheeler on the mound to start, the Phils absolutely made mincemeat out of the Tigers yesterday, 10-1. Cade Fergus smacked a grand slam! We’re not proud, but this was our reaction, too:

The Phils face the Blue Jays today at 1:05 and the Braves on Saturday at 6:05. On Sunday, they play the Red Sox in a 1:05 game. Hey, we may not have any local teams in the NCAA tourney, but we’ve got Marsh Madness.

With help from Vineland native Mike Trout, the U.S. team beat Colombia, 3-2, on Thursday and advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic.

A third of the starting team is made up of Phillies — J.T. Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner. It’d be four if Bryce Harper weren’t hurt. America’s team!

The Eagles have apparently signed a guy named Greedy, and we’re not at all sure how we feel about that. Oh, and did we mention Marcus Mariota? (I know; what a throwback, right?)

The six-wins-in-a-row Sixers go up against the Hornets tonight at 7 p.m. and play the Pacers on Saturday, also at 7.

The Union tackle Montreal in an away game at 7:30 on Saturday.

The Flyers also play.

All Philly Today Sports Desk coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.