As it turns out, Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are both getting too old for this, er, stuff.
Sanders had been scheduled as the Pennsylvania delegation’s guest speaker but event organizers said he cancelled a few hours before delegates packed the Doubletree Philadelphia hotel’s Ormandy conference room for breakfast.
Glover, a longtime political activist who was an early and vociferous Sanders supporter, was hastily arranged as a fill-in, but also bailed.
Instead, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and PA attorney general candidate Josh Shapiro welcomed the delegates as scheduled, and a bevy of city pols addressed the crowd.
Klobuchar said PA would be crucial for beating Trump and winning back a Democratic majority in D.C.
“The other big deal this year is the U.S. Senate and Pennsylvania: You are right at the center with Katie McGinty and winning this seat,” she said. “There was some division in your state, but now you’re in the big time.”
Shapiro (whose campaign manager, Joe Radosevich, used to work for Klobuchar) repeated some familiar campaign talking points about cleaning up the troubled Attorney General’s office, which has been under a cloud of investigations for much of current AG Kathleen Kane’s tenure. But he also used the speaker’s platform to tell delegates that he would push for curbing low-level drug arrests, an assertion that drew cheers from those assembled.
“Fifty percent of Pennsylvanians said they knew someone addicted to heroin,” he said, citing a recent study that centered on the Lehigh Valley. “We’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem. We have to recognize that drug addiction is a disease, not a crime.”
Finally, Philadelphia City Council members Cindy Bass and Blondell Reynolds Brown, and retired councilwoman Marian Tasco filled in, for the spot held for Sanders and Glover.
The trio pushed for unity and voter turnout. Brown recalled talking about Barack Obama’s longshot presidential candidacy with her political mentor, the recently indicted Congressman Chaka Fattah. Tasco, profiled by City&State PA earlier this year, meanwhile promoted state Rep. Dwight Evans’ candidacy for Fattah’s old seat.
“I have a guy going to Congress now, Dwight Evans – I’m counting on Dwight, and I will stay in his ear to fight for city neighborhoods,” she said.
But for a delegation that is apparently so crucial to this election, it was an underwhelming conclusion. With that, organizers hustled delegates out, with no reason given for the absence of either Glover or Sanders.