LYNNE ABRAHAM'S campaign trumpeted a very favorable internal poll yesterday showing the ex-district attorney leading the mayor's race by 16 points.
A lot of that comes from Abraham's unparalleled name recognition among the field of six vying for Room 215. Early polls ahead of heavy TV advertising don't measure much more than that. Mayor Nutter around this time eight years ago was barely a blip on the chart.
Still, it's better to be ahead than to be behind.
Rival Doug Oliver, who has less name recognition than anyone, parodied the Abraham poll by releasing a (fake) internal poll of his own yesterday. He had a 43 percent lead - over "Undecided."
"Today, the Oliver for Mayor campaign released its own internal polling results, which unsurprisingly indicate whatever he wanted them to indicate," the Oliver release read.
For Abraham, more important than the poll stuff may be the turnover among her media aides. There's been a rotating cast of characters representing the public face of "Team Lynne." First, it was Cathie Abookire, a staffer from Abraham's D.A. days, then PR consultant and jazz pianist Wynne Alexander was fielding calls from reporters, and now it's lawyer Jo Ann Butler.
Abraham said Abookire had to take a back seat because of medical issues, prompting Alexander to fill in, later recruiting Butler. Asked if the reshuffling was indicative of larger issues, Abraham was curt.
"Two words: 'not true,' " she said, as her newest press secretary cut in to hustle Abraham off the phone.
When quizzed on who her current campaign manager was, Abraham said it was "the same person who was campaign manager in the beginning" but hung up without saying who that was.
She was presumably talking about Stuart Rosenberg, a Harvard grad whose online resume says he was working for a pol in upstate New York when Abraham announced her run last November.
Tony Dphax King, we like your style, son.
King, the West Philly Council candidate who is fighting to remain on the primary ballot, showed up at a Board of Elections hearing Tuesday wearing a button-down black leather jacket and a midnight black turtleneck that just screamed "Shaft"-era Samuel L. Jackson.
Only thing missing was the "Bad Mother F---er" wallet.
King says he's in his "early-40s" and describes himself as an "author and real-estate investor."
He tried to have Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell kicked off the ballot, but a Common Pleas judge ended up kicking King off the ballot and ruling Blackwell could stay.
That's a shame, because this guy would be good for business - the news business.
Not only is he a snappy dresser, but he wants to hold a campaign rally with the Wheels of Soul, the West Philly-based outlaw motorcycle gang whose headquarters was raided in July 2011 as part of a racketeering indictment that included murder allegations.
Maybe seeking the WOS endorsement makes sense. We got the tour of the clubhouse that summer day. Talk about a smoke-filled room.
Anyway, King, who rides an Aprilia Scarabeo scooter, plans to appeal both of the judge's rulings. He said he'd take the case to the state Supreme Court if need be.
"I know the monster that I'm against," King said of Blackwell.
Like we said, he has a flair for the dramatic.
Media consultant Neil Oxman is known in political circles as the mastermind behind Nutter's 2007 upset win. A commercial produced by Oxman's Campaign Group, which used the nerdy Councilman's precocious daughter Olivia to humanize his campaign, is sometimes credited with sealing his victory.
Oxman brought some of that juice to mayoral contender Jim Kenney in the form of an ad sponsored by a political action committee. But it could be a short run. The guru says he's returning to his true passion: golf.
"I will be at the Masters in a few weeks, hopefully," said Oxman, who has caddied for PGA pro Tom Watson since 2003. His nickname: "The Ox."
Oxman said his duties as bagman would keep him occupied until "after the primary."
But while the Ox palpably sounded relieved to set foot in golfer's heaven, what's that mean for Kenney, who has a bit more than seven weeks to go in the run up to the Democratic primary?
"Caddying at the Masters is as important as the race for mayor," joked Kenney.
State and church must remain separate, but campaigns and church go together like cheesesteak and Cheez Whiz.
Candidates court preachers hoping for a good word to a big congregation.
Mayoral candidate state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams breaks out of the gate first today: 25 clergymen and women and faith-based leaders will back Williams. Among them is Bishop Keith Reed of Sharon Baptist Church in Wynnefield Heights, one of the city's largest congregations.
The Williams campaign hopes it yields a collection plate full of votes in the May 19 primary.
- Staff writers William Bender, Wendy Ruderman and
The Next Mayor's Ryan Briggs
contributed to this report.
On Twitter: @wbender99 and @rw_briggs