Saturday, October 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Pat Toomey for VP? Bring it on!

Pat Toomey for VP? Bring it on!

I never thought I'd say this, but today looks like a good day for the Obama campaign. Herman Cain's never-ending implosion and the attention from the Manchester Union-Leader endorsement continues to strengthen Newt Gingrich's hand as the anti-Mitt, foiling Romney's divide-and-conquer strategy to work around the fact that 75 percent of GOP voters can't stand him. But Obama does much better in head-to-head polls against Gingrich than against Romney.

And now this brilliant idea: Pat Toomey for vice president.

Seriously?

Here's the argument in favor of the freshman Pennsylvania senator, courtesy of the Inquirer's ever-insightful Tom Fitzgerald:

If Romney wins, he will need somebody who can reassure the GOP base without scaring the pants off moderates and independents, the thinking goes. And that could be Toomey, a sober though doctrinaire conservative who has emerged as a leader on fiscal issues - most recently as carrier of the Republican negotiating position on the congressional deficit supercommittee.

Toomey grew up in a blue-collar Democratic household, and represented a swing House district in the Allentown area for three terms in the 1990s. He then went on to lead the Club for Growth, a leading anti-tax advocacy group.

Those who like Toomey for Veep say that his ability to win in a moderate swing state is crucial, considering that the race for president may come down to Rust Belt electoral-college prizes such as Pennsylvania and Ohio. He is seen as more accomplished than another conservative favorite - Florida Sen. Marco Rubio - and outscores Gov. Christie of New Jersey on some measures of fidelity to conservative principles.

All sort of true, but -- on top of the fact that the "supercommittee" was a super failure -- just imagine if the ticket did turn out to be Romney -- the multi-millionaire Bain Capital job destroyer -- and Toomey, the Wall Street derivatives-trading job destroyer:

Toomey's an easy target for economic-centered attacks. As a Wall Street banker, Toomey helped pioneer the use of some of the same financial products that have caused fiscal chaos for American towns, cities, and states. He spent years as a derivatives trader for Chemical Bank and at Morgan Grenfell, a British financial firm. While at Morgan Grenfell, Toomey focused on things like interest rate swaps—complicated debt instruments that poisoned many a municipality's portfolio. Shortly after he was elected to Congress in 1998, a trade magazine rejoiced that "now the derivatives industry can claim representation by one of its own." Toomey parlayed his trading experience into a spot on the House banking committee, where he crusaded against regulation of financial markets—especially derivatives. And unless Sestak can stage an epic comeback, Toomey will soon be back in Congress, with a vote on banking regulation, if not a seat on the upper chamber's powerful banking panel.

Even the ultra-conservative publisher of the Manchester newspaper realizes that a ticket comprised of the 1 Percent of the super-rich could be toxic in 2012. This is what Joe McQuaid said on Sunday:

“I think — and this is crazy, but so are we — that Gingrich is going to have a better time in the general election than Mitt Romney. I think it’s going to be Obama’s 99% versus the 1%, and Romney sort of represents the 1%.”

Pat Toomey may or may not be part of the 1 Percent, but he helped America's super rich get richer. Does the GOP really want to run an all-Wall-Street ticket next year?

About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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