A memo to Corbett on his comeback plans

TO: GOV. CORBETT

RE: Operation Comeback

First, I hope you enjoyed your getaway weekend at Bedford Springs Resort, and may I say what an excellent venue to meet with donors and advisers to start your "operation comeback."

Anything 100 miles from Harrisburg must seem pleasant to you, no?

Plus, the history!

Bedford was George Washington's headquarters during the "Whiskey Rebellion." You used the setting to reset your own "Whiskey Rebellion," right?

Pretty clever.

Oh, and the symbolism!

A spa renowned for mineral springs where the rich, famous (Henry Ford, John Wanamaker) and 10 presidents went to "take the waters" of revival.

I gotta tell ya, I admire your willingness to seek restorative powers. Admitting a problem is always the first step to recovery.

Did you and the Mrs. stay in the James K. Polk Suite (2,385 square-feet of luxury; pedestal tub; balcony with "sweeping views" of the golf course)?

Hope so.

You know Polk was a governor, too - of Tennessee.

But - and maybe I shouldn't mention this - just one term. I think they called him "One-Jaunt James."

But he ended up as president (our 11th)!

Hey, maybe you can . . . no, wait . . . on second thought, maybe not.

I digress.

As one whose advice I know you value, I'm surprised and a little hurt not to have been invited. I like a good mineral soak as much as the next guy.

(You don't think there might be fracking opportunities under those springs, do you?)

Anyway, assuming some mix-up with the invitations, here's an update on my five-point comeback plan, originally offered back in May.

1) I suggested naming a woman to the Supreme Court because of how poorly you poll with women. You didn't do that. You nominated Superior Court Judge Correale "not-a-woman" Stevens, who gets sworn in tomorrow.

But you did name a woman, Leslie Gromis-Baker, your new chief of staff. So, you know, you're welcome.

2) I said since you won't have a primary you should turn from the ideological right, lean center-left and, for example, restore adult basic health insurance to soften your hard stand against expanding Medicaid.

You didn't do that, either. But, listen, if you accept Medicaid expansion, you take a big weapon away from opponents and prevent getting beat with the he-doesn't-care-about-those-in-need stick.

You seek federal aid for storm damage. Why not for human damage?

3) Before you went 0-for-3 on booze, pensions and transportation, I noted the Legislature can't do more than one thing at a time and urged you to focus on just one thing.

You didn't do that, either. Come September/October you get another chance. I strongly suggest you get one thing done. How about a one-day, half-price sale at state stores during the holidays?

4) Lottery privatization? In May I called it a bad bet, a fight you don't need that eats resources. I recommended you step away.

You didn't do that either. There's still time. Punt, dude.

5) I suggested you move quickly to alter your image as a ham-handed exec caring only about helping big business and slashing government.

You sorta did that with a Web ad, "Back to Work," about the state's economy adding 116,000 jobs since you took office. Great. Unless voters find out every other large state added more jobs than that during the same period.

I suggest spots featuring Harry and Penny.

Now, remember, you're the incumbent. You'll have lots of money. You're not as bad as everybody says (you couldn't be). You look like a governor. Democrats are fully capable of self-destruction. And no matter what, you make history: the state's first incumbent guv to lose; or the Lazarus of Pennsylvania politics.

 


Email: baerj@phillynews.com

Blog: ph.ly/BaerGrowls

Columns: ph.ly/JohnBaer