TODAY'S FOCUS was to be on the apparent further decline of Philly's "racial math," and Jim Kenney facing perennial problems of poverty, schools, crime and policing.

You know, what's it all mean and how does Mayor Kenney address these issues?

I mean, the Democratic primary winner is the next mayor; been that way for 64 years.

But then I chat with Bill Green.

When I ask about Kenney's biggest challenges, Green says, "The concept [of writing] about what the Democratic nominee might face is getting a little ahead of itself."

Long pause.

I regroup. Remembering that Green, in March, changed registration from Democrat to "no affiliation," I ask, "Uh, maybe I should be asking if you intend to run for mayor."

"When a majority of a nominee's own party votes against him, that should not determine the next mayor," he said. (He turned out to be wrong about that. Kenney got more than 50 percent.)

Beyond that, an additional 22 percent of voters (Republicans and independents) had no say.

Uh-oh. This sounds suspiciously like an independent candidacy in the making.

So, I say, "That sounds suspiciously like an independent candidacy in the making."

He responds, "That's all I'm going to say about that."

(I immediately flash on Forrest Gump, which is totally unfair to Green, who's smart and savvy, but I can't help it. "That's all I have to say about that" is a repeated Gump line in the 1994 Tom Hanks classic, so it just springs to mind.)

I press Green, noting his comments are titillating, in a manly, electoral sort of way.

"Yeah," he says.

So here we go. Let the speculation, calculation and denunciation begin.

Will the twice-elected former city councilman, former head and still a member of the School Reform Commission, son of a mayor and grandson of a congressman (both of whom ran Democratic City Committee) run in the fall?

If so, can an independent win?

Well, when Sam Katz was thinking about it, he noted that the last independent elected Philly mayor was Rudolph Blankenburg (which sounds like a made-up name, but I checked, he was real) back in 1911.

He was a German-born reformer, nicknamed "The Dutch Cleanser."

Now almost every insider says an independent run is crazy: It would require a lot of organization and money; a wholly unacceptable Democratic nominee who eked out a primary win bruised and battered; and a GOP nominee offering nothing. None of those conditions exist.

Furthermore, says St. Joe's prof/political analyst Randy Miller, Green "didn't win a lot of friends on Council, certainly not on the SRC, so what's his constituency?"

Plus, he says, "Voters don't remember his father or grandfather."

But Miller concedes, "It'd be a lot of fun if he runs."

I agree. But I'd note that Green's logic on nominees getting less than a majority of party votes being nondeterminative doesn't hold up. In the past three open-seat Democratic primaries, nobody got 50 percent of the vote, not Michael Nutter, not John Street, not Ed Rendell. All three went on to win the mayoralty.

Others say a Green campaign would be much more aggressive toward Kenney than anything Kenney faced in the primary: Drag out the old Vince Fumo alliance; tie Kenney more closely to John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty and unions.

And maybe Green can appeal to the moneyed Bala Cynwyd pro-charter guys as a better messenger than Anthony Hardy Williams, whom they twice backed to no avail.

Maybe a low-turnout primary means voters aren't interested in the current choices and long for an option. Or maybe voters just aren't interested.

Either way, as one pundit puts it, Philly's a minority-majority Democratic city and a Green/Kenney race would be "two white Irish guys vying for black votes and only one has a 'D' beside his name."

Still: Green vs. Kenney? They've never been friends, not on Council, not in the Twittersphere, not in real life. So it could be a lot of fun.

Blog: ph.ly/BaerGrowls

Columns: ph.ly/JohnBaer