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TheGerbil

Our new mayor is a celebrity

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Here is the New York Times article. It focuses more on Ravenstahl than erroneous perceptions of the city, but as they say any press is good press.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/09/us/09may...&ei=5087%0A

This is a good thing. I am not sure if I care much for Ravenstahl as a politician but he is young and cute and well-spoken and will reflect a good contrary perception of Pittsburgh to a national audience.

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I haven't seen him much on TV, so maybe I'll watch Letterman before I make my final decision of he is a big tool (as i suspect he is) or actually a young voice for the city.

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Does anyone know if he is the main guest or one of the later ones? I'm debating whether I want to go to bed late for this :)

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Did anyone catch it? I got a headache and went to bed, and my boyfriend only caught the tail end of the interview. Apparently he came on first.

If anyone watched then I would love to hear your reactions.

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I really was not impressed at all. That guy has ZERO personality. Actually he strikes me as someone who would make me uncomfortable to be around. Maybe he was just nervous - I don't know.

One of the first things he said was, "Well, Pittsburgh's a blue-collar city...." Way to properly address erroneous stereotypes "mayor". Booo!! He also said that if Dave got caught driving without a license in Pittsburgh, he would not go to jail because "we would make an exception for you like we did for Ben". The audience then started booing. It was not good.

He said some nice, albiet brief, things about the city: pretty skyline, nice rivers and he noted how our economy has shifted to hightech industries. I think he could have done a much better job touting the city's new economy though - he sort of siad it as an afterthought and did not go into any detail at all.

Dave asked him why he was fit to be mayor and he kept saying that he was unanimously voted as city-council president. In fact, he mentioned this also as his greatest achievement on city council and at least on one other occasion. I found it annoying since the only reason he was elected was because the city factions were fighting like cats and dogs and could not agree so they settled on him. He was nothing but a COMPROMISE. I don't expect him to go into that on Letterman but to keep repeating that your election as city council president is your best achievement, shows how ready you are to be mayor etc etc when everyone knows you were thrown in as a compromise candidate only is pretty lame.

Personally, I was disappointed. But maybe I was expecting too much. He looked nice at least.

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I haven't seen it yet. I remembered at close to 12 and hit record on the dvr, hopefully I got it, but if he said that Pittsburgh is a blue collar city he actually went on national tv to set Pittsburgh back. How awful.

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Well, he's not exactly "Mr. Charisma", anyway. ..

He did mention "blue collar", but then again, he also briefly touted 'New Pittsburgh' in his own way.

Any positive attention on Pittsburgh through Letterman, The Times and CNN --regardless of the particular situation/person-- I'll personally take everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. ;)

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I really was not impressed at all. That guy has ZERO personality. Actually he strikes me as someone who would make me uncomfortable to be around. Maybe he was just nervous - I don't know.

One of the first things he said was, "Well, Pittsburgh's a blue-collar city...." Way to properly address erroneous stereotypes "mayor". Booo!! He also said that if Dave got caught driving without a license in Pittsburgh, he would not go to jail because "we would make an exception for you like we did for Ben". The audience then started booing. It was not good.

He said some nice, albiet brief, things about the city: pretty skyline, nice rivers and he noted how our economy has shifted to hightech industries. I think he could have done a much better job touting the city's new economy though - he sort of siad it as an afterthought and did not go into any detail at all.

Dave asked him why he was fit to be mayor and he kept saying that he was unanimously voted as city-council president. In fact, he mentioned this also as his greatest achievement on city council and at least on one other occasion. I found it annoying since the only reason he was elected was because the city factions were fighting like cats and dogs and could not agree so they settled on him. He was nothing but a COMPROMISE. I don't expect him to go into that on Letterman but to keep repeating that your election as city council president is your best achievement, shows how ready you are to be mayor etc etc when everyone knows you were thrown in as a compromise candidate only is pretty lame.

Personally, I was disappointed. But maybe I was expecting too much. He looked nice at least.

While your account of the details are correct... I think you're being way too negative towards Ravenstahl. Sure, he mentioned everybody's least favorite description of the city ("blue-collar"), made the awkward comment about Roethlisberger, and failed to explain what significant things he has done as a politician besides being "unanimously elected to City County President by his peers" (I ring that up to nerves and the fast-paced nature of the brief interview segment)..... but I thought Ravenstahl came off as a promising young leader with a positive attitude and genuine personality. A humble Pittsburgher who loves his city and has visions of making our great city even greater. David Letterman isn't a public affairs program... it wasn't about interviewing Ravenstahl to see what his positions on issues are... and what plans he has for the city... it's a comedic talk show that devoted 5 minutes to a curiosity... a very young mayor of an American major city... so Ravenstahl got his chance for 15 minutes of national fame... and much of the segment was devoted to Letterman's idiosynchratic brand of humor... and barbs about Ravenstahl's age (that's why he was on there, after all) and the requisite Steeler talk... but Ravenstahl took his opportunity to try to plant the seed in the nation's mind about a new Pittsburgh... a city that has emerged from the smoky gloom of the steel age... and has recast itself as a city with "beautiful skyline, rivers and hillsides" that is forging ahead with "biotech and world-renowned hospitals". For a young man with little political experience... and certainly no experience in a forum like David Letterman... I applaud Ravenstahl.

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Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

If this guy wants to be the mayor of a major city and wants to be taken seriously, he needs to step up to the plate - I don't care how old he is.

I was disappointed in 2 respects. First of all, it is not very often that this city has the attention of a national audience. We have major image problems and these opportunities need to be taken advantage of to the fullest. He said a couple "nice" things, but they had no substance and therefore are easy for outsiders to dismiss. I was not expecting a "public affairs program" - I know what the Letterman show is. But 2-3 well-thought-out substantive sentences touting Pgh's new economy/green architecture etc would have been sufficient. I think it was a missed opportunity.

The other reason I was disappointed was because the idea of a young progressive mayor running Pittsburgh really appeals to me. However, Ravenstahl came off as a humorless drip to me personality wise (everyone I watched it with agreed) and he is not very quickwitted it seems.

Maybe I'm being harsh but I was disappointed, I can't help feeling that way.

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I think it would've been nice if Luke would've brought a huge poster-sized photo of the daytime skyline from Mt. Washington or West End Overlook to show the audience. I've always been shocked by friends of mine from Philadelphia who were suprised that Pittsburgh actually had skyscrapers.

I'm sure O'Connor would've been much more effective in promoting the green construction and new economy and quality of life... but O'Connor would have never been invited to Letterman in the first place! Luke has been Mayor for TWO WEEKS. It's been a whirlwind with the tragic death of a popular mayor 8 months into his term... and a transition of power to a 26-year old with limited political experience... and the swirling tides of political machinations of those who are looking for power in 2007 or 2009. I say give him a break for not being supremely articulate and charismatic on Letterman... it could have been MUCH worse (imagine the misanthropic Murphy on Letterman)... at least we got some national exposure...

Luke is brand new as mayor... a position he did not seek and I assume he did not imagine he would seek for a long time... and he certainly was a "compromise" selection for Council President... as opposed to the "strongest" selection... and he is the ultimate "dumb luck" mayor... but if nothing else... he puts a "young face" on a city that many perceive of old and dying. He is pretty much a clean slate... and I think it's foolish to be critical of him as his mayorship is brand new and he hasn't really had the chance to do anything yet... good or bad... especially since the first week was pretty much devoted to mourning O'Connor. Let's wait and see what he can do. And then Pittsburgh can make a decision on him next year or 2009.

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Yes he was there fo rhis age.. it is a curiosity thing, but Dave did have to prompt him a bit. Yes he is young, but it speaks volumes of this city that nobody gave him a media prep. Saying blue collar, the ticket comment and the rigid comments were a bit much for a short segment. It's an entertainment show, but it was free publicity for Pittsburgh that was uh, um underwhelming and certainly underachieving.

The country doesn't know what UPMC is.. some may know The University of Pittsburgh's Medical accolades, but not "UPMC."

he should have loose talking points that stated high tech in connection to "our major research universities U of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon..." He should left his door to door comment at that and stated that yes steel is long gone and now we do roborts, medical and technological research... etc etc

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He did refer to Pittsburgh as a blue collar town and an aging community. That bothered me. I am surprised that there was not one image of the city. He was Pittsburgh Proud, but no more than any other citizen of any other city. He didnt press the postives much and was not very enthusistic. A missed opportunty, but an opportunity none the less

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he mentioned "aging"? I didn't remember that...

well, it is true... though I feel like we're reaching the tipping point with that... a hangover effect from the 1985 20-something mass exodus

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Sounds like a real mixed bag of reactions here. If he didn't succeed in putting forth a good image of the city, I at least hope he didn't put forth a bad one.

I was reading a PG article about his appearance, and it sounded like he was pretty nervous and unsure what to expect. Here is the article: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06258/722070-53.stm

Judging by that article, he did say some good stuff. Examples:

"The city of Pittsburgh is a wonderful city. It's not what it was 10 or 15 years ago."
Mr. Letterman asked the usual steel industry question, with the mayor responding "that's the image nationwide and perhaps you have that same image, Dave, of an old city, a smoky town, but that's not the case. Beautiful skyline, great rivers, hillsides, it's a great place to be and that's why I wanted to come out here tonight to talk about it."

So it sounds like he put some positive stuff out there. If people were listening, then they ought to have come away with an image of a changing place, a beautiful place. Maybe us Pittsburgh-lovers are worrying too much about the 'blue-collar' comment. If out-of-towners heard that they probably didn't register it, since everyone "knows" that about our city already. But maybe the positive comments will stick out in their minds.

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