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Update, Oct. 10: A state court has rejected the Trump campaign’s lawsuit that related to this quote, ruling that the so-called “poll watchers” did not have the right to enter Philly satellite election offices.
Near the end of the first 2020 presidential debate with VP Joe Biden, President Donald Trump took a serious dig at Philly.
“Bad things happen in Philadelphia,” Trump said.
He was making an inaccurate claim about what happened during the launch of the city’s satellite election offices on Tuesday.
During the day on Tuesday, as people lined up to cast mail ballots for the first time, there were a couple of instances where people who claimed to be “poll watchers” or working “security” for the Trump campaign were blocked entry to the locations.
Why weren’t these people allowed inside? None of them were issued the certificate you need to be a poll watcher. No one was — because the centers that opened Tuesday are not polling places.
Set up by the bipartisan Office of City Commissioners to make voting easier during the pandemic, these satellite offices are places where people can apply for, receive, fill out, seal and deliver mail ballots, just like they can at the regular Board of Election office. No observers of any party or campaign were being allowed in. The Inquirer explains in more detail here.
Anyway, after tweeting about the situation earlier in the day, Trump brought it up again at the debate. Moderator Chris Wallace asked if each candidate would acknowledge the winner after all the counting was done. Biden said yes, but the president wavered — and pointed to Philly as an example of what could go wrong.
Do bad things happen in Philadelphia? Sure. The city has plenty of real problems. But also tons of great qualities, even when residents don’t acknowledge them.
The city has also had its share of things that could qualify as bad, but are truly ridiculous. The kind of thing that makes you say, “Only in Philly.” Here’s seven of the most absurd.
1) A hitchhiking “robot” that was a Canadian social experiment was decapitated
2) The GM of the Sixers was fired for having burner Twitter accounts
3) There was a giant warehouse fire in front of which an Elmo drumline played music
4) Someone ate actual horse manure after the Eagles won the Super Bowl
5) A respected museum displays pieces of Einstein’s brain along with 139 skulls
6) A top event featured strippers surrounding people puking as they raced to eat the most wings
7) The NFL stadium used to have an actual courtroom in it because of rowdy fans
Basically, Philly can take whatever you can dish out. Bring it. We’ll be wearing the t-shirts.