Saturday, December 27, 2014

Republican Reboot?

Maybe state Republicans will now reboot and seek ways to recapture key voting areas outside Philly. Or not.

Republican Reboot?

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is flanked by Speaker of the House Sam Smith (left) and Lt.. Gov. Jim Cawley as he unveils his 2012-13 budget proposal before a joint session in the Pennsylvania State House Chamber on Tuesday. (Tom Gralish / Staff Photographer)
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is flanked by Speaker of the House Sam Smith (left) and Lt.. Gov. Jim Cawley as he unveils his 2012-13 budget proposal before a joint session in the Pennsylvania State House Chamber on Tuesday. (Tom Gralish / Staff Photographer)

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

BE: So, Pennsylvania Republicans must be pretty distraught and looking for ways to change their ways.

JB: You’d think so. They lost the presidency, a shot at a Senate seat and all three state row offices.

BE: But they’re not distraught?

JB: Well, no. They still control both chambers of the Legislature and the governor’s office.

BE: Yeah but surely Tuesday’s results bode ill for the GOP future. Surely they're looking to revamp their direction and policies to recapture the Philly burbs again. Surely they're rethinking hard-line positions on budget cuts, immigration, voter ID, the female vote, guns, gays...

JB: Uh, actually, no. What they're doing is blaming Philadelphia.

BE: Oh?

JB: Yep. Wednesday, House GOP Speaker Sam Smith said he was told 90% of city precincts turned out 90% of their votes, and that is "questionable." When asked if he was suggesting fraud he said, "Maybe a good investigative reporter could track some of that down."

BE: But city turnout was about 60%.

JB: I'm just telling you was he said he was told. And, trust me, other GOPers are saying similar things less publicly, and a little more graphically.

BE: But they also lost Bucks, Montco and Delaware counties. Shouldn't they be rethinking stuff?

JB: They already have. It's called voter ID and redistricting. Both issues got tied up in court this time but GOP thinking put them in play and GOPers say they'll be in place come next election: new district lines more favorable to Republicans, and a new ID law to help keep down that "questionable" Philly vote.

BE: So their reboot already has happened. Pretty good planning.

JB: And clever, to boot.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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 baerj@phillynews.com.

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 baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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