Saturday, October 10, 2015

Casey Coughs

Sen. Bob Casey asks Harrisburg Republicans to reconsider a proposed change in allotting the state's electoral votes. Could it be a signal he's catching campaign fever?

Casey Coughs


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

JB: Yo, boss, see that thing about Bobby Casey and the GOP plan to change how Pennsylvania allots electoral votes?

BE: You mean a Democrat is in disagreement with Republicans? That's news?

JB: No, no, you're missing the point. First, read the Tuesday Inky piece Then think it through.

BE:Okay, read it. Now I'm thinking.

JB: First, who says very little publicly about state political stuff despite the fact his name is maybe the best-known name in Pennsylvania politics?

BE: Uh, Bob Casey? 

JB: Right. Now, what incumbent statewide politician appears vulnerable in the 2014 elections?

BE: Gov. Tom Corbett?

JB: Right again. And what are state political writers writing about these days with regard to the 2014 elections?

BE: The six, seven or eight Democrats who are lining up to test the waters to run against Corbett.

JB: How do you do it? Three for three. And what's the biggest knock on that field and maybe Corbett's best chance for reelection?

BE: The knock is none in the crowd can pull the kind of turnout it would take to unseat a well-financed incumbent in an off-year race; and the best chance Corbett has is a divided Democratic party, a nasty and long primary fight and a drained, weakened nominee with no real statewide appeal outside his or her region.

JB: Pure genius. You nailed it. And, finally, who is the one Democrat with the best chance of uniting the party and presenting a credible challenge to the incumbent governor?

BE: Bob Casey.

JB: Bingo! So here's the question. Is this uncharacteristic foray into state political doings really about getting involved in a proposal that's not on anybody's front burner or does it represent a little Casey cough suggesting he might be catching a case of campaign fever?

BE: An interesting question. And next would come pressure from the national party, with promises of campaign funding, and an argument that Pennsylvania needs a Democrat in the governor's chair for the 2016 presidential race in order to keep the state blue, especially if the GOP nominee is neighboring guv Chris Christie.

JB: Cough. Cough.


Daily News Political Columnist
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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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