The Single Most Bizarre Moment from Last Night’s Mayoral Debate in Philadelphia

A candidate went on a racial attack. It didn't work out so well. Plus, the Philly native who just bought Amy Schumer's apartment for $13 million.

rebecca rhynhart casting a puzzled look at Amen Brown during the Philadelphia mayoral debate on 6ABC

Rebecca Rhynhart casting a puzzled look at Amen Brown during the Philadelphia mayoral debate on 6ABC (image courtesy 6ABC)

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The Bizarre Rebecca Rhynhart-Amen Brown Moment from Last Night’s Debate

I couldn’t attend Tuesday night’s 6ABC mayoral debate because it was my birthday and my family wanted to take me to Delco’s iconic Clam Tavern for fried shrimp and baked clams. But this is precisely why the internet exists: So I could watch the debate later and report back to you. And watch it I did.

It was a little bit like watching paint dry, though it did have its moments.

Candidates who’ve received union money curiously went after candidates for receiving union money. Some candidates attempted to defend attacks on their ethics. Jeff Brown seemed to not have a firm grasp on reality, considering comments he made about the status of the Ethics Board mess in which he finds himself as well as his assertion that he didn’t want the endorsement of one particular union, the leader of which has since blasted Brown on social media saying that just wasn’t true.

But while we’re on the subject of reality or the lack thereof, we need to talk about Amen Brown. Many (including myself) have questioned why Brown is part of these debates when there’s not anyone in their right mind (other than, perhaps, Brown) who thinks Brown has a chance in hell. And there are obviously other mayoral candidates who are excluded from these debates due to their lack of viability and the already overly crowded field. At Tuesday night’s debate, Brown had an incredibly awkward moment that further demonstrates why he should hang up his hat.

Towards the end of the debate, moderator Matt O’Donnell allowed each candidate to pick a candidate and ask them a question. A bit of “fun” in an otherwise staid 90 minutes.

When Brown got his turn, he set his sights on Rhynhart, who you might remember received the endorsements of former mayors John Street and Michael Nutter, as you can see in her much-aired TV commercial. In a moment that was almost too strange to believe, Brown brought up that very commercial, in which Rhynhart has a little back and forth with both Street and Nutter. And he … well, let me just transcribe this for you.

Amen Brown: Rebecca, in one of your latest campaign ads, you called two esteemed African American men, former mayors, “boys.”

[Rhynhart’s face begins to take on a puzzled look in the 6ABC split-screen.]

Amen Brown, cont’d: Is that indicative of how you would prioritize African American men, given the current environment?

Rhynhart, who now looks like she’s stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone: That’s not … true. I didn’t call them that, so … That’s just … not true. It’s not true.

After Rhynhart four times pointed out the falsity of Brown’s attack, O’Donnell, probably puzzled himself, asks for clarification.

Rhynhart again insists, “It’s not true,” while Brown says, “Everyone has seen the commercial.”

Yeah, we have, Amen. And guess what? She says “guys.” Not “boys.” If you’re going to attempt to play the race-baiting game, you at least need to have your facts straight.

You can watch the full debate here. Or, if you just want visual proof of this bizarre encounter, here you go:

(Video courtesy 6ABC)

Political Movements

Not to hit you over the head with too much politics in one day, but …

On Tuesday, former city councilmember turned mayoral candidate turned former mayoral candidate Derek Green endorsed Cherelle Parker for mayor, pointing to her plan to tackle crime, a plan that is a bit more aggressive than the plans of some of the other candidates.

And it looks like Allan Domb has finally spent enough dollars on Google advertising to make his anti-Jeff Brown website the top sponsored result on a Google search for “Jeff Brown.” Even if you don’t click on the link, you’re treated to some unflattering display copy. The one time I searched, it was: “Jeff Brown is unethical – Jeff Brown is out of touch. Jeff Brown is being investigated by Philadelphia Ethics Board. Brown and his shady superPAC under ethics investigation.”

Jeff, you might want to have your campaign get on that.

Train Pain

Residents of three Delaware County neighborhoods have been fighting with SEPTA over a rail line that recently reopened after 30 years, with residents complaining that the trains are just too damn noisy. Must be nice to live in a place where your biggest complaint is a train horn. This is why we have three sound machines in our house.

Local Talent

It sounds like former Friends’ Central student Benj Pasek is doing alright for himself. The Oscar and Grammy-winning musical talent behind shows like Dear Evan Hansen and The Greatest Showman just got himself some new digs. Pasek reportedly bought Amy Schumer’s Manhattan apartment for $13 million.

By the Numbers

10: Grandkids a grandma from New Jersey is planning to take to Disney using her $1 million in Powerball winnings.

$135: likely amount said grandma will have left after taking ten kids to Disney.

$187 million: Record-setting verdict against the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in a medical malpractice case decided in recent days. It is said to be the largest amount ever awarded in a malpractice case in Pennsylvania, with the previous record being $100 million.

$89,028: Projected cost to attend the University of Pennsylvania in the upcoming academic year, up about $4,000 over last year.

80%: Amount of the country’s pretzel production that happens right here in Pennsylvania, a fact we learned only because it’s apparently National Pretzel Day. Philly Pretzel Factory is giving away free soft pretzels for the occasion. Somebody let me know when it’s National Martini Day.

And from the Aw-Shucks Sports Desk …

Were you wondering if the Sixers would face the Hawks or the Celtics in the next round? Were you hoping it would be the Hawks? In a win-or-go-home game last night, Sixer-killer Trae Young tied it up at 111-111 on a 15-2 Atlanta run in the exciting fourth quarter, which included a Young stuck ball on the rim with less than a minute left. Big guys jump! Celtics snagged it and smashed a dunk. One-point game, a foul by Boston, and that would be Trae Young at the foul line. Atlanta up by one, nine seconds left. Foul called on … Trae Young. Hawks appealed. Oh, could we sneak in one more commercial here? Sure we could! Derrick White shooting, looking nervous. He sank them both: 117-116 Celtics. And! One last commercial, as the Hawks called time-out. And who sank a three-pointer from Nebraska with 1.8 seconds left?

The Hawks play on.

In yesterday’s Phils game, there was nothing doing for anybody through the first two innings, with left-handers Bailey Falter pitching for the Phils and Marco Gonzales for the Mariners. With two out in the top of the third, Jarred Kelenic doubled but got stranded; in the Phils’ half, again with two outs, Cristian Pache blooped a single, Bryson Stott walked, and Trea Turner … struck out.

In the fourth, Nick Castellanos flicked a one-out single that fell right between two fielders, but J.T. Realmuto grounded into a double play. Hey, this game was moving briskly!

Things got a little hairy for Falter in the fifth, as Kelenic homered and Jose Caballero singled, stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error by J.T. He made it home on a J.P. Crawford single, but Falter ended the damage by striking out Julio Rodriguez. Edmundo Sosa got one back in the Phils’ half with a homer of his own.

Falter stayed in — he did have five strikeouts — and Eugenio Suarez smacked a one-out double. And dammit, Teoscar Rodriguez homered. Pache made a gorgeous diving catch of a Kelenic liner, but it was 4-1 Mariners.

Matt Brash came in for Gonzales in the bottom of the sixth and struck out Turner, then hit Kyle Schwarber with a pitch. Castellanos singled, Realmuto singled, and Alec Bohm grounded out but sent Schwarber home. 4-2 Mariners.

In the seventh, Connor Brogdon replaced Falter and promptly gave up a triple to Cal Riley. Caballero scored him on a sac fly: 5-2 Mariners. Crawford walked, but Brogdon got the last two outs. Bottom of the seventh: another pitching change — Gabe Speier in for Brash. Marsh reached on a single, then got picked off at first on a snagged line drive by Pache — right after a lengthy review had called him safe on a pickoff attempt. Stott singled, but another Turner strikeout ended the inning.

Yunior Marte came in for Brogdon in the eighth. He got three straight outs, as did Justin Topa, who came in for Speier for the eighth. Another pitching change for the top of the ninth: Andrew Vasquez for Marte. A single, a challenged play, but no scoring. Bottom of the ninth, and the Phils’ last chance. Gee, would there be one more pitching change? You betcha! Paul Sewald in for Topa. Mighty cold night to be sitting out at CBP for three hours. And a lead-off double for Bohm! Sosa grounded out, Marsh struck out, and pinch hitter Jake Cave got a single that brought Bohm home: 5-3. Could we? Would we? Nah. Stott was at the plate, and he … struck out.

They’ll face off again tonight at 6:40.

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