It was a hometown crowd — at least 5,5000 loyal Democrats filled Temple University’s Liacouras Center to watch President Obama campaign for Tom Wolf, the party’s nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania. So naturally, Philly’s Democratic Mayor, Michael Nutter, was on hand. And how did Philly’s Democrats welcome Philly’s Democrat mayor?
Nutter took the stage after Kathleen McGinty, the former state Department of Environmental Protection chief and a onetime candidate for governor herself. Before Philly’s mayor could even say a word, the boos rained down. (Eventually, the crowd let up as Nutter started a “Vote! Vote! Vote!” chant.)
But then President Obama took the stage, and started stumping in earnest for Wolf. And as the President started rattling off the roll call of Pennsylvania Democrats in the building — U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Wolf and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter — the boos rang out again, lustily against the rafters.
It’s tough to say what the only negative moments of the night were about. Several people lingering by the Liacouras Center wouldn’t admit to participating. The crowd did sport a large union presence there, with a big contingent from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, which had dozens of members in PFT garb throughout the event. This group took offense to the Mayor’s use of social media to find out which Philly school was running out of toilet paper.
The chaos in Philly’s schools seemed to be the prevailing theme as social media buzzed about the boo-birds:
Nutter seems to be doing the opposite of warming up the crowd for Tom Wolf and Obama
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) November 3, 2014
Obama mentions Nutter and we boo, AGAIN!!! — S. R. Flemming (@kellygrade6) November 3, 2014
Hilarious to hear #Obama give Michael Nutter a shout out then hear the crowd booing.
— Jimmy G. (@JGwinn1048) November 3, 2014
Philly booing Michael Nutter when Barack Obama name checks him makes me proud to be a Philadelphian. — Bobby Digital (@a_butler) November 3, 2014
@hollyotterbein it seems local political partisanship increasingly does not conform to state and federal Dem vs. GOP party lines
— Christopher Wink (@christopherwink) November 3, 2014
@christopherwink Yeah. My guess is it’s mostly over union issues and this is a more-left-than-yr-avg-Dem crowd. Which isn’t to his favor.
— Holly Otterbein (@hollyotterbein) November 3, 2014
— Matthew (@wthree411) November 3, 2014