Gary, I am happy that you have spent enough time in PA politics to let everyone know who can and cannot win there.
1) You complain about Rendell and Schumer clearing the field. If they didn't clear it, and Casey ran anyway, who do you think would be the overwhelming favorite?
2) How does clearing the field have anything bad for Pennacchio? In fact, the Dems did not clear the field of Pennacchio, because he is not on their radar. They cleared it of Hafer, and potentially Hoeffel. If anything, less candidates should help Chuck. He is still going to lose by 80 points, why is that?
3) You have these magical skills where you can tell us that Casey CAN NOT win against Santorum. What, exactly is that based on? A daydream or something? Certainly not history, polls, or common sense.
I don't like how Casey has waged his campaign, and, I am worried when I see things like his Patriot Act BS. That doesn't mean I am divorcing myself from reality.
First, who says party leaders tried to force Chuck Pennacchio out of the election? Do you honestly think they care about Chuck?
They did lean on Hafer and Hoeffel. And you know what? Casey still likely would have tatooed either of them.
Chuck is still there, and he is losing by 65 points. A candidate with any chance would be polling better than that, no matter what party leaders wanted. I asked you a question- name me someone who would beat Casey, and you name me the guy who is losing to him by 65 points?
Again: name me someone who would not be a serious underdog against Casey in a head to head.
I think you are pretty off-base Matt. For example, who says he will be the template for Democratic candidates?
He was chosen because, above all else, he was extremely well-known, and just collected a ton of votes one year earlier. Casey is popular here, whether we like it or not. That is why he was chosen- because PA voters like him, and, if he had run anyway, he likely still would have clobbered Hafer, Hoeffel or anyone else that did not have a base of support that is the entire Philadelphia region. So, really, unless Rendell had run himself, this was Casey's seat to lose, in a big, big way.
Casey has run a terrible campaign, if you can call it that. But, I also think that what his terrible campaign has done has overshadowed, at least for me, that besides choice, a lot of people who I trust think that Casey will be a good Senator, and will be a more labor-tailored politician than we usually get. His statements on Alito and the Patriot Act have certainly given me some doubt, of course.
But, again, if Casey was not forced upon us, there is little doubt that he would at least have been the Dem nominee for Governor in 2010, with or without Rendell's support. That name is worth a hell of a lot here.
What you are dead right on though, is this: Democrats, especially Democrats in Pennsylvania, have done a poor job in multiple things: one, creating any sort of depth amongst progressives at the State rep and Senate level. (And our most reliable, smart progressive- Alan Kukovich, lost, and is gone.) Second, there is no progressive infrastructure to push back when someone like Rendell clears the field. Someone like Hoeffel would have made a good candidate, but, its not like there was an outcry of support for him. The most likely candidate was Barbara Hafer, who switched parties to the Dems out of spite. Then there was Kukovich, who again, lost his own seat in the Senate.
I feel your pain about a lack of a progressive candidate. But, I hope you feel ours about a lack of a progressive bench in Pennsylvania, and instead of trying to make man-on-dog launch his campaign for presidency from our ashamed State, help us develop a real bench, and help us beat the crap out of Rick Santorum.
Yes Bob, because I am from Pennsylvania, and resigned to the fact that a candidate who is up 65 points in a poll is going to win, I must love Bob Casey!
If the rumors are true, and Hackett runs for Rep instead, does he keep you, or do you try and tear down another Democrat? Maybe another member of the progressive caucus is running for office somewhere? Go get em!