By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter addressed the Democratic National Convention, last night, just hours before President Obama took the stage. And some people are asking if the mayor might be planning a move to national politics in the near future.
Nutter said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is out of touch with the needs of teachers and students, citing Romney’s visit to a West Philadelphia school.
“Mitt Romney doesn’t get it. He recently visited a school in West Philly, told teachers that he knows more than they do about what works for their students. He said, ‘class size doesn’t matter.’ Doesn’t matter? If our teachers can’t give our children the attention they need, that doesn’t matter?”
He said President Obama has worked to invest in children and education, saving the jobs of school teachers.
“We have to invest in them. That’s what President Barack Obama did, saving 400,000 educators’ jobs and giving states the flexibility to shape their schools.”
Nutter’s national speech begs the question: if President Obama wins re-election, would he offer Mayor Nutter a job in the White House? And would the mayor accept it?
A local political strategist says there’s a 50-50 chance that Mayor Nutter could get offered a prominent position in Washington. Whether Nutter would take it is another matter.
Neil Oxman, longtime adviser to Michael Nutter, says the Obama White House thinks highly of the Philadelphia mayor, both for his work in the city and with the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
But, as to whether Mayor Nutter would receive a prominent post in a second Obama Administration, Oxman says it’s a flip of a coin.
“I think it’s pure speculation right now. Who really knows what the Obama people are thinking? I would say it’s 50-50.”
And Oxman says Nutter would think long and hard about leaving the city before his term is up.
“I think it would be tough. I think he really likes being mayor. He’s worked very hard both on City Council and as mayor. Nutter would have to hear if there is a job available, and what it is, and whether he thought it was important enough and serious enough to leave the mayor’s office. But I think if the President of the United States calls you, and asks you to do some very serious job, you have to think about that, and you have to give pause to that decision.”
Depending on the timing, an early Nutter resignation would likely have City Council President Darrell Clarke take over the post for the remainder of the term, which ends after 2015.