Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Quiz time: What do pols mean when they say what they say?

The Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidates attend a forum at the PA College Democrats Convention at Temple Univ. March 28, 2014. From left: Rob McCord, Katie McGinty, Allyson Schwartz, and Tom Wolf. ( TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer )
The Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidates attend a forum at the PA College Democrats Convention at Temple Univ. March 28, 2014. From left: Rob McCord, Katie McGinty, Allyson Schwartz, and Tom Wolf. ( TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer )

AND NOW, a fun Daily News multiple-choice political quiz.

Come on, you know you want to play.

Each Democrat running for governor in the May 20 primary tends to say the same thing in debates, forums, speeches and TV ads.

Here's a little test to measure what you think they mean when they say these things.

There is no prize. I assume you've heard about the economic state of journalism.

But you can own the satisfaction of knowing you're a high-information voter who can read politics and politicians like an open book with large print.

So here it goes:

* Katie McGinty, with lots of smiles and even more energy, likes to point out that she grew up in a working-class Philly family as the "ninth of 10 kids" in a house with one bathroom.

What she really means to convey is:

(a) She knows how to share; she's familiar with redistribution of resources.

(b) She, more than any other candidate, understands and empathizes with the struggles of average citizens.

(c) She can go without bathroom breaks longer than any other candidate.

(d) She only ever beat up one of her siblings.

* Rob McCord (when not saying he grew up meatless and fatherless, or arguing his upbringing with his own stepbrother) says that he, more than any other candidate, is "best-built" or "best-suited to defeat and evict Tom Corbett."

What he really means to convey is:

(a) His financial acumen exhibited in the private sector and his experience as state treasurer make him a fiscal wizard compared to all others. And, by the way, he went to Harvard.

(b) His sturdy physique and conditioning, an outgrowth of his time as captain of his high school soccer team, provide the stamina and toughness to take Corbett down.

(c) Like other rich guys (think Mitt Romney), he likes "being able to fire people" and/or evict them for providing poor service.

(d) His success in business allowed him to acquire a wardrobe of bespoke Brioni suits.

* Allyson Schwartz, when not trying to paint Tom Wolf as a devious borrower of loans from banks, consistently insists she's the only candidate ready and willing to fight the "old boys' club" in Harrisburg.

What she really means to convey is:

(a) Her experience serving in the state Senate and in the U.S. Congress taught her how best to navigate the testosterone rivers of public life.

(b) She has never been a donor to the Boys Clubs of America.

(c) She boldly breaks rules, such as the only rule about the "old boys' club" is that you never talk about the "old boys' club."

(d) She's a woman, whereas Wolf, McCord and Corbett are not, and here's her gender card to prove it.

* Tom Wolf, on rare occasions when he's not driving his Jeep Wrangler (and, actually, sometimes while he is), likes to say, "I am a different kind of candidate."

What he really means to convey is:

(a) Everybody else in the race is a political hack.

(b) He's rich, has a Ph.D., runs a successful business, yet still drives a down-to-earth vehicle preferred by teenagers and surfers.

(c) At a time when nobody trusts anybody, he's not from Philadelphia.

(d) You tried a governor from central casting with a great head of hair; how'd that work out for you? I am different.

The most correct answer in all cases is perhaps debatable.

But there's no debating that candidates seek to leave impressions - ones formed by what they say most often.

Oh, and it's all about the children and education. And the environment. And jobs, jobs, jobs.

 

 


Email: baerj@phillynews.com

Blog: ph.ly/BaerGrowls

Columns: ph.ly/JohnBaer

 

 

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