This blog features information about the political campaign nationally and in the state of Pennsylvania. it will discuss congressional races western PA, but it won't restrict comments to those jurisdictions. On many occasions, it will feature humor, but its main purpose is to "cut the legs off" political jihad. This is a site for political grown-ups of all ages.

Location: Ambridge, Pennsylvania, United States

I have a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester (English and American Literature). I taught for 10 years at various educational institutions (Univ. of Rochester, my alma mater, College of William and Mary, and University of Georgia, where I was also Asst. Ed. of the Georgia Review. Later, I worked as a speechwriter and "thinker" at various large companies, including Phillips Petroleum, Gulf Oil, Aetna, Merck (consultant), and Eli Lilly (consultant), among many others. I'm a full-time writer and political commentator/analyst. Favorite company: AudioTech Business Books. Favorite female: my wife, Patricia Ann Maloney. Favorite politcal candidate: Diana Lynn Irey (PA's 12th congressional district)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Coming Attractions in Campaign2008 Blog

Perhaps my favorite political joke is the first one I ever heard, back in the 1960s: An older woman is walking outside a polling place and a reporter asks her what candidates got her vote.

She gives him a stare and says, "Vote? I NEVER vote. It only ENCOURAGES them."

Of course, if good candidates -- good people -- run and don't get votes, it discourages them, which isn't something we want to happen.

In the days ahead, I'm going to write about several things. They'll include (I hope) the following:

  • Interviews with political candidates Diana Lynn Irey and Melissa Hart;
  • Discussions of subjects I know well, including energy companies and pharmaceutical companies -- especially in the light of predictable Democratic hostility to those sectors;
  • Thoughts on how candidates of similar views -- attention Melissa and Diana! -- can and should work together to raise money and share ideas;
  • Insights into how the 2006 election was closer in many ways than you might have been led to believe -- for example, a shift of less than 15,000 votes in VA and MT, out of roughly 2.7 million cast in the two states -- would have left the Republicans in solid control of the Senate;
  • Analyses of modern candidates' tendencies to over-rely on TV ads and ignore some of the basics of grassroots organization; and,
  • Thoughts on how Diana Irey could defeat Jack Murtha in 2008 -- and Melissa Hart could do the same to Jason Altmire in 2008.

One important thing political activists must do is to learn from candidates who are improbable winners. A great example is Big Beaver councilman Jim Marshall, who won a state representative's seat in Beaver County by defeating the number two Democrat in the PA House, Mike Veon.

Marshall was lucky in that his opponent had taken a very unpopular stance on a pay raise for state legislators, but he did some other important things that made him a surprise winner. I'll deal with Marshall's campaign in the next post.


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