Category Archives: PA Support

PA State GOP Endorses McCain

Nary a delegate has been elected, nor a farcical primary vote cast.  Nevertheless, my state GOP committee has endorsed John McCain to be the nominee for the Republican party in the race for president.

Reasons likely to be offered for this endorsement will include the following:  All his other competition has dropped out, except for Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul.  It is important for the GOP to unite behind a single candidate.  Polls say John McCain can win.  John McCain is Tom Ridge’s friend.

You’ll note none of these reasons have anything to do with the wishes of Pennsylvania’s GOP voters.

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Dueling PA GOP Endorsements

State GOP chair Bob Gleason has endorsed McCain.  Fightin’ Rick Santorum is now a Romney man. [HT Pennsyltucky & The Corner, respectively]

Rick has been hurling invective at McCain for months now like a monkey flinging poo, so this is no surprise.  Gleason is a party man, and front-runner, so his endorsement is to be expected as well.  Besides, our state GOP leaders have always been McCain men, I think.

One wonders how attracted the GOP establishment will be to my uncommitted idea, eh?

I mean, Santorum was an advocate for an uncommitted delegation, but appears to have succumbed to his personal loathing of Mac.  Gleason’s counterpart for for County GOP– Skip Brion– has not yet responded to my e-mail.  The new political director for County HQ has not responded to my entreaty for advice, either.

Perhaps they’re just busy.  I would remind all of them, though, that this is an issue on which all voters would agree reform is necessary.  I would also remind them that– as shocking as it sounds– most voters care as much about internal political party priorities as they do about the status of the solution to the Poincaré Theorem, or about personal and rancorous spats in consciousness studies.

In short, at a state level, or in our case Commonwealth level, this issue could generate votes for someone who chose to spend a few minutes talking about it.  And the only risk is with the party itself.  Last I checked the party was supposed to represent GOP voters, not the other way ’round.

UPDATE: Skip Brion, the head of my county GOP committee, was indeed just busy.  With committee stuff.  Not even his day job.  One wonders where he finds the time!  Anyhow, we are communicating, and he seems in general agreement that the lack of influence PA GOP voters have on determining the presidential nominee is less than ideal.

IA Results: They’re Just More Important Than Me

Well, the good voters of IA have caucused, and have selected a moderate evangelical democrat from Hope Arkansas, and an even further left wing cipher.

Now, I generally like organic tradition, a la Russell Kirk.  I also generally like heterogeneity and quirkiness.  It is somewhat refreshing that rural Iowans and grumpy Granite Staters have such a large say in our electoral system, especially since so much of what goes on in this country seems predetermined in some well-funded conference room full of people mildly afraid and hugely disdainful of average Americans.

So from that perspective it is gratifying to find those candidates most obviously designed in those conference rooms– Romney and Clinton– dealt a demoralizing defeat by just those Americans over Swedish meatballs and warm cider in a hundred high school gyms and living rooms in the IA caucuses last night

But…

Why, exactly, should the votes of a few hundred Iowans matter so much to the future of our country?  One is reminded of the famous speech in the movie Bull Durham, which I’ve mentioned here before in a different context, about the difference in baseball between a career minor leaguer and hall of famer being one hit a week.  Should the course of our country be based on such obviously fickle vicissitudes?  A couple family crises and a broken-down bus on the way to a caucus site could have made all the difference last night for any number of candidates.  Now we’re stuck with the withdrawal of Chris Dodd and Joe Biden!

It is well established on this site that I think it is an absurdity verging on a representative miscarriage that the people of Pennsylvania– and many other states– have little say in the presidential primary process.  That miscarriage seems all the more obvious when the two winners out of IA are so similar, and so similarly wrong.

In purely parochial concerns, one of my commenters recently suggested GOP bigwig Bob Asher has been recently spotted genuflecting in Mitt Romney’s direction.  Wouldn’t it be funny if such a consummate insider had to find a way to explain that away because his new favorite candidate never got a chance to even run in PA?

Finally, we should note in this space that last night’s result was pretty much ideal for Giuliani, given the fact that Team Rudy chose to skip IA altogether.  Romney is dealt a huge defeat, and Thompson and McCain do OK, thereby keeping the field wide open.  McCain appears poised to win NH.  SC will be a scramble.  Then FL comes around, where Rudy still polls on top.

It’s white knuckle time over at Team Rudy.  Their “national strategy” is about to be tested.  They’ve been quiet, letting the other candidates spend time, money, and moral capital over two early states with not many delegates at stake.  They plan to plant their flag in FL, then roll up delegates in NJ, NY, CA, and IL on Tsunami Tuesday.

So they have to win FL.  Then on Super Duper Tuesday, if they win MO, they will be in the cat bird seat.  If the Feb. 5 results are more mixed, maybe we will get to cast a vote that matters here in PA.  If Rudy can’t win FL, though, it’s looking like McCain or Huck.  Who knows, though?

More Asher and Rudy Talk

While I was off at a professional conference I missed this ABC story— brought to my attention by Josh at The Morning Call– suggesting that Team Giuliani is trying to square a tricky circle with Bob Asher.

Some people– ahem– suggested months ago that aligning with Asher may be politically necessary, but perhaps less than ideal.  For those who’s memories need refreshing, Asher did time in the big house for his participation in the corruption scandal that make public suicide an attractive option to Bud Dwyer.

Since then, Asher has somewhat rehabilitated his image.  He is still a major PA rainmaker, participating intimately in the Kean, Ridge, Specter, and Bush II organizations.  For a time, it appeared he would have some sort of official role with the Giuliani campaign as well.

Well, it appears the campaign is trying to place some distance between Hizzoner and Asher, which is probably wise, even though it was probably wise for him to solicit Asher’s help in the first place.  One wonders, though.  Giuliani’s popularity has always been high in the Keystone State.  Given this, perhaps Asher’s help could have been less vigorously sought.

Of course, there always something to be said from addition by subtraction.  At least Asher wasn’t out raising money for someone elsewhile he was arranging fundraising events in the Philadelphia suburbs for Giuliani.

SE PA Election Results & the 2008 Prez. Race

The counties surrounding Philadelphia are turning blue, we’re told.  Well, not yet.

Yesterday the county commissioner leadership of Bucks, Montogomery, Chester, and Delaware counties all remained in GOP hands yesterday.  Most judges remain from the GOP.  The Dems had really high hopes.  In a strategy that caused this observer to reach for his copy of the Constitution they thought tying local races to dissatisfaction with Bush/Cheney would finally give them an edge in county governance.

It was not to be, though.  What does this teach us?

It teaches us that if the GOP can manage to run decent candidates, they can succeed in the Philadelphia suburbs.  These counties are close enough now, though, that if the GOP throws up some noticiably corrupt patronage tool, he or she may lose, whereas before the GOP candidate simply had to be drawing breath.

This is all good news for Giuliani in a general election race.  We can say with some certainty that the Demcrat candidate for president will have to at least invest time and money in winning PA.

Of course, it is a shame our primary is so far out that we will have no say at all in nominating either major party candidate.  But at least should it get that far– and one never knows, in high school I thought I’d never see a general election where the winner lost the popular vote– Team Giuliani knows they can count on our Commonwealth’s delegates.

Election Day Tomorrow

Sorry about the radio silence last week.  Sometimes work and other responsibilities have a way of monopolizing my time.

There was some local news of note.  Most prominently the near-endorsement Giuliani received from Philadelphia morning talk bigwig and occasional national pundit Michael Smerconish.  Apparently Michael had the opportunity, under unpleasant circumstances, to get to know Giuliani a little, and found him to be a real mensch in addition to excellent leader.  This could bode well for Hizzoner’s performance in the Philadelphia suburbs.

You almost certainly will not hear from me tomorrow, either.  I will be manning the advocacy gauntlet outside my polling place for the GOP all day.  So if you’re in Phoenixville, stop by Barkley elementary school and learn why you should vote for Greg Hytha for Borough Council.  I may even have some treats to reward people who pick up my election literature and at least do me the solid of throwing it away somewhere else.

Open Primaries

I was looking at a NH poll today showing Mayor Giuliani lagging behind Romney– which was a bummer as Hizzoner had tightened things up there during the last round of polls– and saw that the bulk of independent voters in NH still aren’t sure which primary they’ll vote in.

They get to make that choice as NH has an open primary: You don’t have to be registered as a member of the same party in who’s primary you’d like to cast a ballot.  I think this bodes will for Giuliani.  The GOP race will be more comeptitive, and hence should draw more independent voters.  I bet Giuliani is very strong with that crowd.  I have not seen commentary regarding this.

As a matter of theory I don’t know how I feel about this.  On the one hand, we are a de facto two party system, if not a de jure one.  I used to be a registered libertarian, and one of the main reasons I now am a registered member of the GOP– and now a ward leader– was I became sick of having no voice in the primaries.  It was a real bummer to be unable to cast a ballot against Arlen Specter…

On the other hand, though, political parties are private organizations.  Now, I think it might be difficult for the Dems to restrict their primary to only illegal immigrants, and for the GOP to restrict theirs to men named Cleetus.  Still, as private organizations I instinctively support their rights to handle their affairs however they want.

I do wonder, though, if Giuliani’s fight for the GOP nod would pretty much be fait accompli if all states had open primaries.  It would certainly be the case here in the Commonwealth of PA.

It’s a problem as old as the GOP, actually.  The primaries are the place where minority factions carry the most water.  But does this end up giving us the best possible candidates for a general election?  Ronald Reagans aren’t very commonplace…