Thursday, January 27, 2005

Why you can forget about Rick Santorum for President

From the American Spectator:

"Earlier this week, polling data purportedly paid for by the DSCC began popping up on various Democratic-leaning websites. It showed that the current Pennsylvania state treasurer, Bob Casey, Jr., led Sen. Rick Santorum 52 to 38 in a poll of likely voters. The leaking of the polling data came coincidentally less than a week after both Schumer and Reid had begun courting Casey to run against Santorum. Casey, a pro-life Democrat, and son of the legendary Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey, is said by associates in Pennsylvania to have warmed to the idea, but only if Schumer and Reid could assure him that the Democratic primary field would be cleared for him.

"He asked about it and Schumer guaranteed him a clear field," says a political consultant with ties to the DSCC. "That polling data, wherever it came from, is probably the first step toward getting Casey in line, and running off a few folks with eyes on running against Santorum"

Santorum was already girding for a bruising re-election battle, having been targeted by Democrats as Enemy No.1 in this election cycle, and Casey would make the campaign a tough one. "He's right on the issues that Catholics in Pennsylvania vote on, and moderate enough to get strong Democratic support," says the consultant. "He scares the hell out of Santorum's people."


Bob Casey Jr. comes from an immensely popular and powerful Pennsylvania political family. Look at recent Pennsylvania politicians - Tom Ridge, a pro-choice Republican, Bob Casey, a pro-life Democrat, Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican...folks from the Keystone State don't like ideologues.

Ed Rendell is going to be in tough battle for Governor, and he needs a clear field. With Casey running for the Senate seat, the question is: Where does this leave Barbara Hafer? The most powerful Democratic1 woman in PA politics, the former State Treasurer swapped parties in 2003, presumably to run against Santorum. The Democratic field in PA will have to be clear, so what about her?

There is a proposal before the PA legislature to allow the governor to pick a lieutenant governor as a running mate (currently, they are independently elected). If it passes, this could be in effect for 2006. Rendell is not happy with Catherine Baker Knoll, the current Lt. Gov., and would likely pick a different running mate.

In 2006, Rendell may have to take on Lynn Swann - R. His running mate - Barbara Hafer. If he wins, in 2008, Ed Rendell is going to a major national player. The former national chair of the DNC could be called as a VP candidate for a Southern Democrat (Gov. Mark Warner?) and at the very least, he will end up in a Cabinet position2 in a Democratic administration if they take the White House in 2008. Barbara Hafer will become Governor of PA upon Rendell's resignation, serve out the remainder of his term, and run for one term in 2010 at the age of 67.

If they are smart and the cards fall their way, PA could be securely Democratic before the end of the decade.



1Correction: Make no mistake about it: Mrs. Hillman is THE most powerful woman in PA politics. Barbara Hafer was the most visible, and is the female face of the Democratic party in PA.

2Ed Rendell would be ideal for Secretary of Homeland Security. Personally, I think this job belongs to an executive politician (not a judge or legislator) with experience in public safety management. A governor from a disaster-prone state (Mike Easley?) or a former big-city mayor, like Rendell, has the skills necessary for multi-agency emergency coordination.

Martin O'Malley, Mayor of Baltimore - another favorite of mine, after he beats Bob Erhlich to become Governor of Maryland, but that's another story for another time.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Martin is not bad on the eyes either!

11:28 AM  
Blogger Outlier said...

I don't the origin, but somebody once said, "Politics is showbiz for ugly people." From my time in Maryland, that doesn't quite hold true - I've heard those sentiments expressed about Martin O'Malley and current MD Governor Robert Erlich many times before - regardless of political leanings.

A quick story:

I was home in Pittsburgh over the summer when John Kerry announced John Edwards as his running mate. We were watching the press conference on TV, and my sister and our cousin were talking about how attractive they find Chris and Andre Heinz.

"They're so handsome," my sister said.

In this dreamy voice coming from the kitchen, my mom says, "Yeah, just like their father..."

You would have thought they were talking about the Beatles, not a former U.S. Senator and his sons.

Politics, not just for ugly people after all...

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erlhlich has really bad hair!
-Friend from MD

10:29 PM  

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