Day By Day

Monday, January 30, 2006

Pennsylvania Politics -- Impenetrable Ignorance from the WaPo

The WaPo reports:

Former Pittsburgh Steelers legend Lynn Swann, who is hoping to be the Republican nominee in this year's Pennsylvania governor's race, is giving Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell more than a run for his money in the latest polls.

That may sound like good news for the GOP -- but some Pennsylvania Republicans are clapping with one hand. It turns out good news can sometimes be bad, at least according to the anxious (and possibly overheated) calculations of some strategists.

Read it here.

This is either very, very stupid stuff or whistling past the graveyard. The idea is that if Swann wins big, Republicans won't bother to vote and as a result some Republican candidates in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh suburbs might lose. Well, if that's the case -- if the only reason people might turn out to vote for you is to stop a mediocrity like Rendell from being re-elected -- then you have no real reason to be running for office.

WaPo is susceptible to this kind argument because Rendell is well known and liked in Democrat beltway circles. They've been talking him up as a potential presidential or vice-presidential candidate for years, but he has not traveled well outside his home precincts in incredibly corrupt Philly. His governship has been pretty much a bust. WaPo, reflecting the voice of the national Democrats, just doesn't want to admit that their fair haired boy isn't selling well in Pa. Swann may be a phenom. There is a genuine enthusiasm for his candidacy that contrasts with the ho hum attitude of local Democrats toward Rendell.

By the way, Rendell has come out for Alito. No surprise there.

And in other news, Santorum has succeeded in peeling off some union support in the Philly area from Casey. This is important because it gives Santorum workers on the street on election day. Rickey may make this a close game after all.

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