Not that I'm an expert in reading political tea leaves or anything, but does it sound like Bill Peduto might be trying to ... tell us something via Twitter this morning?
"Want to know how serious I am about this campaign?" Bill Peduto asked me, speaking from his cell phone. "I'm driving a Ford."
Which is a joke, of course, but one intended to suggest that Peduto -- whose previous cars have included a Saab, a high-mileage Audi, and a presentable Cooper Mini -- is no longer content to be mayor of the tony East End. His campaign to challenge Luke Ravenstahl in next year's mayoral race, though not officially announced, was made public today. And it began, significantly enough, with a high-profile contribution from Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
"It was Rich's idea to make the announcement through his e-mail," says Peduto, who notes that he was an early backer of Fitzgerald's 2011 county executive campaign -- even though the early favorite had been rival Democrat Mark Patrick Flaherty. Fitzgerald's $8,000 contribution -- the most allowed under the city's campaign finance rules -- will help Peduto put together the bare bones of a campaign. "It's not an endorsement because I haven't officially announced my candidacy yet," says Peduto. "But I think it sends a message."
And that message, he hopes, will be: Bill Peduto is ready to go all-city.