What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 29, 2007

Potter's Interview With Peduto

It's an odd thing about the City Paper. It hits the streets on Wednesdays, but it hits the web a day later - on Thursdays. I've been told that it has something to do with the complex nature of alternative media marketing, but I really think it has more to do with some little known aspect of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity.

I did a little research into this and while I won't bore you with all the mathematical details, I will say that it turns out that under some specific circumstances a unique time-dilation occurs and what we think are two separate events separated by 24 hours are really the same event in 4D spacetime. Kind of like how everything happens in Pittbsurgh 10 years later than in the rest of civilization.

In any event, Potter's got his interview with Peduto posted.

So now there are three by my count (are there more? let me know). There's mine, there's the OPJ's transcription of Fred Honsberger's, and now Potters.

I was struck, when reading Potter's interview, at how much of Peduto's rhetorical devices overlapped in my interview. I recognized a few similar figures of speech - and it looks like Peduto's ad-lib lines were well rehearsed.

There were "three critical issues; the budget, economic development, and neighborhood revitalization." There was the part about being "Luke's best friend" (a metaphor, no doubt) and about how if he continued his campaign, it would "guarantee" a 6 year term for Ravenstal, or "destroy the reform movement" in the city. And so on.

The big example, though, was "the perfect storm".

A source in the P-G tells me that they got roughly the same "spiel" (my source's word - it's yiddish, doncha know, though my source isn't) when Peduto talked to the P-G's editorial board.

My source, I gotta say, is a real mensch. I, on the other hand, sit on my tuches and kibitz on this blog. Mishuggah, I guess.

Back to Peduto - I'm not sure whether I'm (further) disappointed about all this. It might just be that's the way politicans do their jobs. They plan out a set of rhetorical schemes, and stick to them no matter who's asking the questions. That's probably it and I'm just being a schmuck. (Or is that a putz? How would I know? I can be such a schlemiel at times.)

Indeed all this really shows is that Bill Peduto was certainly on message when he talked to the news and blog outlets.

Oy, so much yiddish. I'm schvitzing.


Skip said...

On message OR the result of repeating to a hundred plus people (journalists, donors, concerned supporters, etc) the reasons for his decision to withdraw.

Whigsboy said...

Both. Having conducted about a gazillion interviews during my unesteemed writing career, I often have sources give me these great quotes that I then see in other media coverage of the same story. While it seems sort of phony, using the same talking points and one-liners also helps people from sticking their foot in their mouth and saying things they might not want to.

Mark Rauterkus said...

The point of all the interviews is that they came AFTER he wasn't a factor. He gave countless interviews AFTER he quit.

What he said matters little now. So, he is safe for the interview.

Rather to watch a train wreck and interview about the guy going down in flames -- and NOT -- talk about solutions and people on the rise, or opportunities to threaten the status quo.

Maria said...


It's a little unclear whether you're saying that the media avoided speaking to Peduto before he left the race or that Peduto avoided speaking to the media before leaving.

EdHeath said...

So the answer to the question - "whither be the issue papers" in *this* interview is: "We do have position papers that expand on what we put out [during the 2005 campaign]. We were planning on putting it out blog-style, and through video as well. I guess we could have been more proactive earlier rather than waiting."

The conventional wisdom was that Bill was all about issues. That no one was paying attention to Bill because all he wanted to do was talk about issues.

"I guess we could have been more proactive"?

Res ipsa loquitur. Whatever else, Luke's popularity, Bill's experience, whatever. Res ipsa loquitur.

Anonymous said...

...and that speaks for itself.

janice said...

Repeating himself means that he has a message. If he said one thing and then another people would wonder what his message was. I am more disappointed in people who can't see that what he did took courage and strategic thinking. (I also think that we should be taking the media to task.) It was also selfless in that Peduto put the interests of progressives, even selfish progressives, before himself.

Anonymous said...

That's just standard politics...you have talking points, you have key words, you have a scripted answer for just about everything you conceive of...it's the "message" your supposed to stay on.

That's just the nature of politics.

Gary said...

That's not unique to politics, either. Same thing happens with authors on a book tour, or football coaches. You're telling the same story, answering the same questions, you tend to fall into a pattern.

jaywillie said...

Peduot is exactly right. The man has a firm grasp of political realities and Pittsburgh and the way to keep the reform movement alive.

All this write-in stuff is nonsense. You don't get anything, not even anything symbolic, from coming in second in a primary. And as for running as an independent, Peduto would destroy everything he worked for in a blaze of glory. The reform movement would be dead.

You've got to start taking back the Party and that means startnig all the way at the bottom with precinct captains, etc., and working your way up. And keep growing what he's already worked so hard to build.

What Peduto has to say is very imressive. He understands that reforming the beast and replacing the old Dem. Party machine is more important than losing a primary or losing the general as an Independent. Reasonably speaking, it's quite possible if he ran as an Independent that he could finish 3rd, depending on how voter id breaksdown in the city. He couldn't even be competitive unless he could challenge Luke for at least 40-50% of the Dem vote and I don't see that happening.

You have to ask yoursself what's more important - reforming the city of Pittsburgh and the Democratic Party there or having Peduto as mayor(which may come in time as a result of the former). I think Bill clearly knows the answer to that.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Bill held back a little bit on the position papers. I knocked him for that before. Hindsight is perfect.

But, Bill gave the interviews after the pull out because the media called then and gave him the time / coverage. I don't mean to say Bill was ducking when he was a candidate.

Bill could have debated me, but, that sounds more like a show for the 3rd round to cover. (giggle)

The media has to be taken to task -- for sure.

Today I was clicked off by a KDKA talk show producer due to 'equal coverage' B.S. Onorato was on the air for a wet kiss with Honz Man -- talking about how the people don't get to decide about sheriff. Say what?!?!?

In 12 hours Onorato's lawyer friends attempt to drill his D challenger from the ballot. It is already a week or two late.

Smitty said...

"You've got to start taking back the Party and that means startnig all the way at the bottom with precinct captains, etc., and working your way up. And keep growing what he's already worked so hard to build."

Based on the endorsement numbers, that process is not going to happen overnight.Nor do I see it happening in the near future.The best way to stop an organization is to cut off the head of its leader, figuratively. That means beating Luke.Membership gravitates to those in charge.Seizing control via the election was the first and best step in reforming the party.