Of course, such friendships are only one leg of the stool beneath Brady. He's the longtime boss of the Democratic City Committee, one of the few old-fashioned big-city political machines left. Running against him could equal career suicide.
Brady, 66, has built his career on ensuring that enough loyal voters get what they need - a job, funding for the Mummers Parade, a hospital visit.
He has been criticized for not having much of a policy agenda in Congress, aside from voting with his party. Moreover, in a time when many voters favor insurgents over incumbents, he could be seen as vulnerable because his district is so poor.
His only declared rival in the 2012 Democratic primary, former Municipal Judge Jimmie Moore, says that's why he threw his hat into the ring. "I am running because the First Congressional District is the second-hungriest district in America and the dropout rate in some areas is as high as 75 percent," Moore said.
But Moore is not widely known, and few see him as a legitimate threat.
Brady's connections extend into many communities, and he seems mildly frustrated by the idea that his relationship with blacks is unusual.
On a recent Saturday night, as he headed to a campaign event for John Linder, a black mayoral candidate in Chester, Brady noted that he also planned to visit a party for State Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D., Phila.) where most of the guests would be white.
"We're going to go to a black event and then we're going to a white event," Brady said. "It's Philadelphia. . . . Everybody has needs - black, white, purple. I don't see black or white. I played football. I don't care about black and white. I just care about the touchdown. I just care if you're on my team."
Having grown up in the Overbrook Park section, where he still lives, he has always had black neighbors. He's a frequent guest at black churches. "You ever been to one?" he asks. "It's pretty upbeat."
His staff is racially diverse. Top aides Stanley White and Karen Warrington are black. Politically diverse? Not so much. Brady says he only hires the best-qualified; even so, party ties abound. Thomas Blackwell, whose job is community outreach, hails from a Democratic dynasty - he is son of the late Congressman Lucien E. Blackwell and stepson of City Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell.
Brady also knows how to ride to the rescue. He recently saved the football season of the Overbrook Monarchs in West Philadelphia by raising $26,000 to replace stolen equipment.
In 1999, he drew loud cheers from an audience when he questioned whether race tinged some white voters' views of then-mayoral candidate John F. Street.
Pointing to his own face, Brady said some voters might not support Street "because he doesn't look like me."
"That is wrong," Brady said. "We're not going back a hundred years."
People don't forget such gestures.
"Bob Brady is probably one of the most politically astute politicians in the last 20 years, and that's rarefied air," says Anthony Hardy Williams, who has the state Senate seat once held by his father, Hardy Williams. "This is the city of Frank Rizzo, Ed Rendell, Hardy Williams, and Cecil B. Moore."
Brady's relationship with African American leaders faltered in 2007 when he ran for mayor. J. Whyatt Mondesire, head of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP, criticized him for not supporting one of three black candidates - State Rep. Dwight Evans, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, and then-Councilman Michael Nutter. Brady lost the primary badly. Some predicted fellow Democrats would take the party chairmanship from him.
But he has rebuilt bridges to Mondesire and others, and now, questions about his leadership are few.
No one else can match "Bob Brady's relationships with politicians across the Democratic landscape," Mondesire said recently. "All shapes, all colors, all genders, transgenders, no genders."
Campbell, vice chair of the African American Democratic ward leaders' group and brother of the late Councilwoman Carol Ann Campbell (another Brady ally), expects his son, Edward, 33, to recover from the bullet wound to his arm. And he has nothing but praise for the man who rushed to his son's bedside.
"He's proven himself fair to everybody involved," Campbell says, "so what candidate would have the credentials in our view to replace him?"
Contact staff writer Miriam Hill
at 215-854-5520, or firstname.lastname@example.org or @miriamhill on Twitter.