Thursday, March 26, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, March 26, 2015, 9:02 AM

If you need further proof that political discourse is declining at alarming rates, I refer you to a GQ profile of potential Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson.

It starts by quoting the conservative former neurosurgeon calling President Obama a "psychopath."

The quote comes from Carson's comments while watching the President deliver his State of the Union Address.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 8:51 AM
Vice President Joseph Biden speaks during the Democratic National Committee's Women's Leadership Forum, September 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Well, you knew it had to happen.

You knew at some point somebody somewhere would actually push Joe Biden for president.

That time its now. Maybe because of Hillary's email mess. Maybe because Elizabeth Warren says she won't run. Whatever the reason, The Washington Post reports there's now a "Draft Joe Biden" super PAC and, yes, it means draft him for president.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 9:03 AM

If you're looking for a sense of how things are going in Harrisburg between the new Democratic Wolf administration and the Republican Legislature all you need to do is read the mail of any school superintendent in the state.

First, right after Wolf proposed new big spending for public education, GOP leaders fired off a missive to school districts essentially saying, yeah, well, don't count your chickens.

And Philly, as you know, is hoping for lots more chickens.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 8:53 AM
Kathleen Kane arrives at City Hall in Philadelphia on Mar. 11, 2015. ( Staff Photographer / Alejandro Alvarez )

Ok, not that it's a real shocker, but the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the investigation of state Attorney General Kathleen Kane started with info passed along by former state prosecutors with whom she was, is and likely always will be at odds.

The Kane case involving her alleged leak of secret grand jury material related to a 2009 probe of former Philly NAACP boss Jerry Mondesire, which never resulted in charges against him, could result in criminal charges against the sitting AG.

The leak came to light after high-profile clashes between Kane and former state prosecutors Frank Fina and Marc Costanzo over the state's investigation of Jerry Sandusky and a sting case involving some Philly lawmakers and a former traffic judge.

POSTED: Thursday, March 12, 2015, 8:45 AM

Don't you just wonder?

Wouldn't you think when one pol, say former Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, is caught in a national embarrassment for sexting with a woman named Sydney Leathers, that other pols might say to themselves, "Boy, I'm never gonna do that."

Well, meet Democratic Indiana state Rep. Justin Moed.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 8:44 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a/k/a BE)

JB: Chief, didya see that wonderful Inky report on mayoral candidates' tax returns?

BE: What's more fun than rooting around in pols' private lives?

John Baer, Daily News Political Columnist @ 8:44 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 8:54 AM
U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania. (Staff file photos)

Politics, as you may have noticed, can be somewhat fungible.

You know, in the sense that representing a blue-to-purple state such as Pennsylvania can require some wiggle room when it comes to hard-line issues.

That said, I couldn't help but notice a slight wiggle evident in ratings of Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey that are awarded annually by the Club for Growth, a national conservative powerhouse with lots of money and clout.

POSTED: Monday, March 9, 2015, 8:43 AM
Hillary Clinton (left) and Kathleen Kane (right) have supported each other's runs for office, but now find themselves at career lows. (File photos: Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer)

Perhaps you noticed front-page stories in Monday's Inquirer and The Washington Post about problems facing Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

They are two high-profile women who helped each other in runs for high office, who were labeled likely leaders of their party, but who now face what can reasonably called lows -- maybe even stop signs -- in their respective careers.

Kane, the embattled AG who worked on Clinton's 2008 presidential primary campaign, is in court here this week on legal issues related to possible criminal charges involving her alleged leak of secret grand jury material.

About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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