A blogger here [HT Keystone Politics] representing “young” and “progressive” ideas in Southeast PA seems to think the Philadelphia suburbs are potentially nascent democratic strongholds. In a general, penumbra emanating sense– similar to the legal logic employed to justify Roe vs. Wade– I suppose I agree.
It is true that the Philadelphia suburbs are drifting leftward. Traditional democrats continue to run screaming from the urban nest their own leaders have defiled. These suburbs are also attracting a fairly wealthy world-citizen crowd– both immigrant and native– who are pretty well steeped the post-modern ennui typical of the well-educated. I submit these groups are pretty receptive to a moderate Democrat message.
That said, a simple perusal of the voter registration statistics for Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, and Delaware counties will indicate the GOP still has a tremendous advantage. Our young, progressive blogger has, I think, mistaken the current general mood for a demographic trend.
What will confirm this? When Rudy Giuliani wins these counties with a significant margin over Ms. Clinton. Previous polling has suggested Obama is pretty popular in the Philly burbs, but it currently looks like he’s all sizzle and no steak, so I am betting he doesn’t get the nod. The open question, of course, is if Hizzoner’s margin of victory in those counties can overcome what is likely to be Ms. Clinton’s overwhelming urban advantage when buttressed by endorsements like this.
Rendell has been making the rounds lately insisting he does NOT want to be vice-president of the United States.
He says he generally wants to be the big mahoff calling the shots, and that ain’t the job description of Veep. I find this believable. I also find it disappointing for two reasons.
First, if he does run for Vice President casual voters in PA would finally see how destructive his policy instincts really are as he will have to articulate them to a press less willing to chuckle and write him a free pass because he likes the Eagles. This means he may have less influence in the long term. I would be the first to admit he seems likable. In fact, I’ve met him. He was likable. And since I’m not a constituent of the party of the perenially indiganant eagery seeking offense, this gives me no cognitive dissonance. But Ed’s politics are bad for PA.
Second, the presidential campaign would inevitably be more entertaining if Ed were in it. He does have an interesting way of going “off script”. I guarantee you that Ed Rendell on the presidential campaign trail would cheese off some thin-skinned element in the Democrat base. The bipartisan in me wishes there were more reasonable Democrats, so forcing them to tell some part of their wing-nut fringe to grow the heck up would be good for our politics generally.
Hopefully, though, he won’t end up instead being Attorney General in a Clinton administration. One sure way to do that is cast a vote for Hizzoner!
Mayor Giuliani took a swing through western PA early this week. In addition to attending a fundraiser and doing some shopping in Pittsburgh, he also visited Canonsburg, where he took an opportunity to criticize Ms. Clinton. [Coverage here, HT Keystone Politics] Hillary said believing General Petraeus at his recent appearance before Congress required a “willing suspension of disbelief.”
Giuliani commented to reporters “I don’t even know what that means. It sounds like it means that we shouldn’t believe him. I don’t think she has any right to put his credibility in question…This is really outrageous…”
He further described Petraeus as “a great American general whether you agree with him or not…I agree with him, but even if I didn’t agree with him I would respect him…” He continued “I think everyone realizes he is an honest man, an honorable man, and he is doing the best he can to give America victory in Iraq, which is a lot more than a lot of politicians are doing.”
This is entirely consistent with remarks he offered during a recent radio appearance in Georgia, where he was busy raising $350k in three days: “Oh gosh, I think that between [Gen. Petraeus] and Hillary Clinton, I’d kind of take his advice on what’s going on in Iraq, don’t you think? And I really do think to accuse a general of the ‘willing suspension of disbelief,’ …that’s not…a responsible way to go about, you know, forging the foreign policy of the United States and the military policy of the United States. I think this name calling…that is the last thing we need right now. What we need right now is a reasoned account, we need statesmanship not political venom.” [“The Randy and Spiff Show”, HT NRO]
I think we can assume Team Giuliani is pretty sure Hillary will be winning the Dem nod. Edwards and Obama aren’t even worth attacking.
The new PA Keystone Poll came out Friday. Link here, analysis from Josh at the Morning Call here.
The meta-points are not new: Giuliani and Clinton lead their respective contests for the primary, and Giuliani is the strongest match against Clinton in the general election.
There is a bad trend– or perhaps a flaw in the poll– that shows Giuliani’s strength in PA eroding in PA general election matchups. As his numbers in others polls against Hillary have been moving that direction, this is believable. What is odd, though, is that Giuliani’s strength against the other potential Dem candidates has dipped in this poll.
This is either news, or it is an anomoly. To soon to say which, but 20% of those polled were not even registered to vote. This seems strange to me.
Finally, this poll seems to suggest that PA voters do not want to move up our primary. Well, one wonders what a poll of actual primary voters would say, rather than a poll that includes a 20% sample of people that cannot even be bothered to register.
Fred Thompson flashed his Hollywood tailfeathers last night by announcing his candidacy on the Jay Leno program. While I don’t generally stand on protocol, this seemed to be a little innappropriate given that the country he wants to lead is, you know, in some wars.
One of the points he tried to make concerned elecability. He pointed out that he won election twice in TN, a state Bill Clinton carried twice. Everyone knows Giuliani has the market cornered in the GOP vis a vis electability, so I thought it would be interesting to bear down on this point.
Fred initially won his seat riding the GOP landslide in 1994. He filled out Al Gore’s term after Gore became veep. While it is hard to imagine now, Gore was considered at the time a fairly conservative Democrat. He then won reelection by spanking a non-entity named Houston Gordon, who’s qualifications for the Senate included being a Democratic party hack and trial lawyer in a state that voted for Bush II twice.
So if Fred wants to talk electability, let’s consider the Commonwealth of PA. Giuliani is a Republican who won election twice to be mayor of NYC, which currently has two republicans filling out 51 seats. That would put them exactly one seat ahead of the “Working Families” party. Hizzoner managed to enact a broad regime of tax cuts, by the way, working with that council.
PA has not voted for a Republican for president since Bush the elder in 1988, and even in that election PA was the third closest state in the general election.
Yet current polling puts Giuliani ahead of or within the margin of error against potential Democrats in PA. He is alone amongst GOP presidential aspirants in this.
I encourage Fred to make electability an issue.
I know I’ve been scarce of late. Slow news weeks coupled with life events have slowed down the posts. I assure you that was temporary.
One way to vault out of the summer doldrums the Rudy way is to sign up for Giuliani thumbcasts. A thumbcast is a text message sent to your phone, in this case about the news of the day vis a vis the effort to elect Hizzoner as Commander in Chief. I have begun writing such thumbcasts for an outfit called 80108 media.
The service is free, and it will indirectly assist the campaign. How? Well, as we add subscribers I am marginally compensated financially. Thus my political activism will be subsidized. I will do a better job, and it won’t cost the campaign a cent. As I said, the service is gratis, although as they say at the end of each episode of American Idol, text messaging rates do apply. Also, these messages are national in scope, not PA-centric.
To sign up, click on the image below, or on the sidebar. Then select “Campaign ’08” in window 1. Team Rudy thanks you!