"And now, here is one of Esquire's 20 Americans of the year," said communications director Desiree Peterkin Bell at a press conference this afternoon. The person she was introducing? Mayor Michael Nutter.
Esquire's list is intended to be a compilation of "those who have brought out the best of us in 2011."
The magazine praises Nutter for his response to the recession – redeveloping the Navy Yard and attracting a population increase despite payroll cuts and tax increases – as well as his reaction to this summer's mob attacks.
It specifically cites Nutter's infamous tough-talking sermon at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in which he told mob participants they "damaged their own race," referred to absentee fathers within the black community as "sperm donors" and "walking ATMs," and told parents that they needed to get their children in line, "before we have to."
Many of his choices – and rhetoric – didn't necessarily increase Nutter's popularity at the polls locally, but he told Esquire, "If you have a deep-seated need to be loved and admired every day,
you shouldn't be in politics. You should go work at a pet store."
Nutter joins the ranks of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, late Apple innovator Steve Jobs, and investor Warren Buffet on Esquire's list.