WPXI's Rick Earle: You weren't involved in an altercation with the police officer?
Mayor Ravensthal: Absolut--
Earle: You categorically deny that?
Ravenstahl: Absolutely not.
That's it. Once the fiery meteor of McIntire's story entered our atmo-sphere, most of it burned up in a harmless spectacle. The above sniplet from a 3-month old investigative report is all that remained, solid to the core, striking young Luke in the tuchus.
The Comet transcript is in agreement with the one over at TPJs, if you allow their edit of the confusing double-negative in the Mayor's clear denial, and if you allow our emphasis on "categorically" as appropriate. Now then:
1. Some people will view Ravenstahl as a liar, who can never again be trusted with public business.
2. Some people will forgive the lie as a miscalculation, intended to cover-up a meaningless but embarrassing personal incident, which could too easily be exaggerated and lampooned by unscrupulous political enemies.
3. There is no reason to believe that the group represented by #1 will reach anything like critical mass.
4. If your political fortunes are tied directly to either Peduto or Ravenstahl, your brain will make you believe either #1 or #2, respectively, and that anyone who reaches the other conclusion must be stupid or insincere.
The good news for Bill is that people are paying attention. His challenge now is that he has to be for something -- he has to be for something popular -- and he has to be for something popular that Ravenstahl is against.
That's easier said than done. It is Ravenstahl's job to support things that are popular. But it is not impossible.
The kerchief drops tomorrow.