The Significance of the Bobby Casey Endorsement
Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey endorsed Barack Obama for president in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I'm thinking it is an interesting move for the only man or woman in PA history to get 3.3 million votes in a statewide election (Nov. '04). No man or woman running for any office (president, governor, etc.) in the state of PA has ever got that many votes before or since. Many thought Bobby, as we call him here in PA, would "fall back" and wait until the primary played out to weigh in.
Instead, he took a major swipe at Governor Ed Rendell, Philly Mayor Mike Nutter, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and other leading PA democrats who have rallied around Hillary Clinton's campaign. I think the only way he could have made this move is if he thinks it is over. I mean it's getting pretty personal here in PA, people are getting real "grimy," as we say on the North Side of town. More importantly, this has to be the biggest endorsement in the state. Even though Ed Rendell got the most juice in PA, most would agree that Casey still is the best political "brand name." Bob Casey is integrity, credibility and humility personified. I can see the commercials and mailers now: I'm Bob Casey and I'm asking you to vote for Barack Obama. A Rendell endorsement is interpreted as political; a Casey endorsement is interpreted as principled. Usually endorsements don't mean much; this could be an exception.