The Short Answer: tv and film edition

The Short Answer, Week 3

There’s a lot of reporting on the 2015 mayoral race. Some of it is good, even admirable. Most of it is very long, and you know…. that’s not what we do here at Metro.  

Welcome to Week 4 of The Short Answer.

Each week, we ask the mayoral candidates a question. Some will deal with personality, others policy. We give them 50 words to answer it, and yes, we do chop it down if we have to.   

Want to ask the candidates something? Send it to

This week’s question: Name a movie or television show that most closely approximates your experience as a public servant in Philadelphia.

Bonus feature: this week, we asked our L.A.-based film critic to judge the answers.



HBO’s The Wire. There is no better art that explains the complex relationships that exist within a city between the police department, the schools, politicians and the neighborhoods. The Wire should be required viewing for anyone who needs a better understanding of what issues are unique to any major city. — Doug Oliver

Ned Says: There is clearly some good taste going on here, as “The Wire” is one of the best shows in television history. How that relates to his ability to govern, I’m not sure, but at least he knows quality.

Parks and Rec. I have always believed in the power of local government and its officials to do great things.  — Jim Kenney

Ned Says: A sense of humor and an optimistic outlook on politics and civil service? Knowing absolutely nothing else about these candidates, I’d say we have a winner.


Remember the Titans – Coach Boone brings together a team and a community united for a common purpose.  And despite the efforts of many who had their own agenda and wanted them to fail, the team and community triumphed – together.  — State Sen. Tony Williams

Ned Says: Nothing like a endorsement of teamwork to try to instill voter confidence.  


“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Judge Diaz has consistently fought against entrenched interests to reform bureaucracies and be the voice for the voiceless.”  – Nelson Diaz

Ned Says: Never trust politicians who cite Frank Capra movies as their favorites. It smacks of pandering. Plus, Diaz loses more points for having an aid answer the question — or writing about himself in the third person,which is even worse.

“The Wire closely associates with my service in the judiciary and as District Attorney.  It demonstrates how lack of educational opportunity and frustrating police interactions impact the socioeconomic status of our communities. Through my executive experience, I know the challenges we face. I am ready to lead on day one” — Lynne Abraham

Ned says: Much like Oliver, points for impeccable taste. But I would worry about someone who says their own life closely associates with “The Wire.” I mean, the show is pretty grim.