MAYOR NUTTER is in Charlotte, N.C., this week for the Democratic National Convention, where he will be a prime-time speaker Wednesday.
He's not alone. More than 50 members of the Philadelphia Police Department and two mayoral aides are in Charlotte, too.
Nutter is paying for his travel and lodging from his political-action committee. The city is picking up the tab for the two staffers, Lauren Walker and Tumar Alexander, along with three members of the mayor's police detail.
The Democratic National Committee is paying for about 50 Philadelphia officers to help keep the peace, according to Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald.
McDonald declined to say how much the travel and lodging cost for Nutter's staffers and police detail. He called that an appropriate use of city money because the staffers are doing city work while at the political event.
Back in 2008, Nutter made the same call - with the approval of Chief Integrity Officer Joan Markman - to use city money to take staffers to the Democratic convention in Denver.
An effort by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania to bounce third-party candidates from the Nov. 6 presidential ballot continues Wednesday in Harrisburg.
Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, a former New Mexico governor, is hanging on to his spot on Pennsylvania's ballot, two weeks into the challenge.
The Constitution Party's candidate, former Virginia U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode Jr., didn't fare so well. He dropped out just days after the challenge started.
Larry Otter, an attorney working on the challenge against Johnson, said the examination of signatures from nominating petitions moves Wednesday from Philadelphia to Harrisburg.
Johnson needs 20,601 valid signatures from registered voters in the state to stay on the ballot. His campaign submitted more than 49,000. Otter challenged all but 8,000 of the signatures.
During the review, 7,000 signatures were deemed valid. That means Johnson needs to have an additional 5,600 or so signatures declared valid to prevail.
A Republican spokeswoman last week said the third-party nominating petitions stirred suspicions that Democrats were trying to stock the ballot. The Libertarian and Constitution parties tend to draw conservative voters.
Lotman: LQ, not IQ
Our old friend Arline Jolles Lotman, former head of the Pennsylvania Commission on the Status of Women, has been preaching this for years: Forget issues and debates - voters decide between candidates based on likability.
She called it the "Likability Quotient," noting that "LQ beats IQ."
Who would you rather have had a beer with? Reagan or Carter? Bush I or Dukakis? Clinton or Bush I? Bush II or Gore? Bush II or Kerry? Obama or McCain?
We'd argue the more beer-worthy guy in each case was the guy who won.
So, who's more likable this year, Arline?
"Obama," she said. "It's something natural and inherent in him. He makes you feel comfortable."
One caveat: Lotman is a Democrat.
Truman: Plain talk
Here are two historic facts to keep in mind as you listen to Vice President Joe Biden's acceptance speech Thursday night.
Fact one: At the 1944 Democratic convention, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent word to Harry Truman that he wanted him as his vice president. Truman's answer: "Tell him to go to hell. I'm for Byrnes."
Fact two: Truman's acceptance speech as the vice-presidential nominee (FDR was a persuasive guy) lasted less than a minute.
No Betty White
Betty White, the 90-year-old actress and supporter of President Obama, will not be attending the convention.
A petition started Friday on Change.org, signed by more than 11,000 people, called on the Democratic National Committee to invite White to introduce Obama on Thursday after 82-year-old actor Clint Eastwood helped introduce Mitt Romney at the Republican convention last week.
"She is working on the fourth season of 'Hot in Cleveland,' which premieres on November 28th," a spokeswoman for the TV Land network said in an email. "She will not be able to attend."
"He didn't do the politically expedient thing. The politically expedient thing that Republicans wanted to do was nothing."
- United Auto Workers president Bob King, who speaks Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention, praising President Obama for the auto bailout.
- Staff writers Catherine Lucey and Gar Joseph contributed
to this report.