Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/03/casey_snubs_cli.html

PITTSBURGH -- Senator Bob Casey,  bypassed Clinton to endorse Barack Obama today, the latest swipe between two warring dynasties whose battles have defined the Democratic party's search for a modern identity.

"This is about all of us, of all ages, across this state and across America," Casey said at a rally at an auditorium here, where he attributed his endorsement to the enthusiasm Obama's candidacy has generated among Casey's four daughters.

Casey's endorsement not only assuaged his children but avenged slights against his father -- a popular two-term governor Pennsylvania -- at the hands of Bill Clinton, with whom he feuded throughout the 1990s as the two emerged as figureheads for competing wings of a party in transition.

The father, also Bob Casey, a pro-life Catholic elected in 1986, rallied the blue-collar white ethnic voters -- socially conservative, New Deal economic liberals -- who became known as "Casey Democrats" to back him when he pursued new limits on abortion.

In 1992, as Clinton was coasting to the party's nomination, Casey encouraged his party to dump the Arkansas governor and use the convention to pick a new nominee, citing "the character issue" around Clinton and his "tiny, fly speck of support." Casey, who had enacted a tough state-level anti-abortion laws then under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, suggested that Clinton could have trouble winning the presidency due to his pro-choice views.

When Pennsylvania held its primary days later, Clinton lost only two counties in the state: Casey's home of Lackawanna and neighboring Luzerne, both carried by former California governor Jerry Brown, who barely campaigned in the state.

Their fight continued through the party's nominating convention that year, when Clinton kept Casey from addressing the party about abortion and banished the governor's contingent to the rafters of Madison Square Garden.

After leaving office in 1995, Casey set out immediately to run in the following year's Democratic primaries as a challenger to Clinton, who Casey wrote in his memoir had failed to "identify with the basic values and economic interests of ordinary Americans." Casey launched an exploratory committee for a campaign designed largely to legitimize a pro-life agenda within the party, but abandoned the challenge after being rediagnosed with a genetic condition that had forced him to earlier undergo a heart-liver transplant.

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Robert P. Casey from Wikipedia

Casey first sought the office of Governor of Pennsylvania in 1966, losing the Democratic Party primary. He tried on two other occasions without success, in 1970 and again in 1978.

Dubbed "the three-time loss from Holy Cross" by detractors, Casey hired James Carville and Paul Begala to his campaign staff, two then-generally unknown political strategists.

Unlike his three previous tries, Casey won the Democratic primary, defeating Philadelphia district attorney (and future governor) Ed Rendell.

In 1989 Casey pushed through the legislature the "Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act," which placed limitations on abortion, including the notification of parents of minors, a twenty-four-hour waiting period, and a ban on partial-birth procedures except in cases of risk to the mother's life.

Because he considered abortion a key social issue for the 1992 presidential election, Casey sought a speaking slot to give a minority plank on the topic at the 1992 Democratic National Convention. He was not given a speaking spot and in a series of news conferences he said the party was censoring his pro-life views since he agreed with the party on nearly all other issues. Convention organizers said that Casey was not denied a spot because of his views on abortion, but because they wanted speakers to have endorsed Bill Clinton ahead of time, which Casey had not done. After the convention, Casey went on vacation rather than campaign for Clinton in Pennsylvania, which was a key swing state.

Casey and Wofford came into conflict during the early Clinton administration, when Wofford refused a personal plea by Casey to support an amendment similar to a provision in Casey's Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act. Casey made it very clear that if Wofford opposed the amendment, the Governor would withhold his support in Wofford's next Senate election. Wofford supported the amendment, and was defeated in the 1994 election by upstart conservative Congressman Rick Santorum.

In 2002, Bob Casey, Jr., followed in his father's footsteps and sought the Governor's office, but was soundly defeated in the Democratic primary by Ed Rendell.

In 2008, Rendell supports Hillary and Casey Jr. continues his Dad's bitter war on the Clintons.

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In 1996, Bob Casey Sr told conservatve reporter Nat Hentoff that he believed he should have been made the keynote speaker as the 92 Dem convention and expected the offer.

But according to those who actually doled out the 1992 convention speaking slots, Bob Casey Sr (aka Zell Miller Jr.) was denied a turn for one simple reason: his refusal to endorse the Clinton-Gore ticket. "It's just not factual!" said James Carville, over Casey's claims. "You'd have to be idiotic to give a speaking role to a person who hadn't even endorsed you."

The man best able to explain the decision was the late Ron Brown. He addressed the topic during a roundtable discussion of Clinton campaign veterans (published as Campaign for President: The Managers Look at '92). He explained:

We decided the convention would be totally geared towards the general election campaign, towards promoting our nominee and that everybody who had the microphone would have endorsed our nominee. That was a rule, everybody understood it, from Jesse Jackson to Jerry Brown.... The press reported incorrectly that Casey was denied access to the microphone because he was not pro-choice. He was denied access to the microphone because he had not endorsed Bill Clinton. I believe that Governor Casey knew that. I had made it clear to everybody. And yet it still got played as if it had to do with some ideological split. It had nothing to do with that.

Furthermore, a slew of pro-life Democrats, including Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley Jr., Senators John Breaux and Howell Heflin, and five governors, did address the delegates in 1992. Though the speakers didn't dwell on abortion, party officials say they weren't barred from mentioning the issue.

Casey, for his part, offered little evidence for his version beyond his unswayable conviction that the party was out to get him. "I'm sure they were chagrined that I didn't endorse the ticket," he says. "But the overriding reason was that I was going to go up there and make the pro-life case." As he tells it, on July 2, 1992, he wrote to Ron Brown, then the party chairman, and on July 13 to Ann Richards, the chairwoman of the delegation, asking to give a pro-life speech at the convention. He never heard from either one.

Casey also sought to speak against the platform when it was presented for a vote. This wouldn't have entailed a prime-time speech. But in response all he received was a copy of a letter sent by the convention's general counsel to its parliamentarian, explaining that, according to platform committee rules, his request was "out of order." Casey found the perfunctory dismissal demeaning. He called it "the kind of letter they might have sent Lyndon LaRouche."

Now Casey Jr, is getting payback for his Pa.

Tags: Bob Casey Obama (all tags)

Comments

39 Comments

Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

This is no big secret. MSNBC discussed it within minutes of learning of the endorsmeent.

I'm sure there's plenty of other backstories behind some of these endorsements. C'est la vie. We'll still take the endorsement and superdelegate vote, thank you very much.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-03-28 01:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

There are many Democrats that the Clintons have wronged over the years.

The chickens are coming home to roost.

by Andre X 2008-03-28 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

boy, you dont know squat.

Casey sr was a total  nut. he elected santorum and was gonna run 3rd party on a anti abortion ticket in 96 till god said no and gave him the big C

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

Bob Casey was "wronged"?  Incredible.

by Denny Crane 2008-03-28 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

The Clinton's didn't "wrong" him.  He was a prolifer who had just gotten done narrowing the choice options for women in PA, even though he didn't get it narrowed enough to satisfy himself.  Even Tom Ridge, a republican, the governor following after his father was more liberal than Gov. Casey.  To let him push his anti-choice stand at the Democratic Convention would be like letting Lieberman make a speech in support of war.  It rightfully was kept from happening.

by Scotch 2008-03-28 05:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

Casey/Lieberman...all the same.

I was just so upset (and disgusted) that he was the "(d)emocratic nominee for PA.  HE SURELY rode the Anybody But Republican meme to the Senate.

NO MORE.

by LindaSFNM 2008-03-28 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

oh he did, I was in PA working for Sestak...

Casey is a zero and  a dunce. redell  had to give him money cause he was too clueless to raise it himself.

But any monkey would have beaten Santorum.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

Casey is far from my ideal senator(he's not pro-choice for starters), but he's been great on labor and economic issues and provides us with a senate majority and replaced a truly repugant republican. He's actually been a lot better than I expected.

by Quinton 2008-03-28 02:14PM | 0 recs
Casey like Lieberman?

How has Casey betrayed the Dem Party?

by Carl Nyberg 2008-03-28 02:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Casey like Lieberman?

many people look at 'choice' as much as a moral issue as the war.

I do.

I helped his campaign, I ever arranged a  statewide robocall for him for women, but I never wanted him in the senate.

I just wanted Santorum OUT.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Casey like Lieberman?

He is a cross over dud.  He is more conservative than some republicans.  In fact he's worse than Joe, and doesn't have half the personality of a rock.

by Scotch 2008-03-28 05:39PM | 0 recs
re

Casey is more qualified to be President than Barack thats whats sad. But yes he did this to keep his feud going with the Clintons and Rendell. Something this may do though is get Fasr Eddies competitive juices flowing. I am sure he would love to destroy Bob Casey Jr in another Democratic primary by double digits

by rossinatl 2008-03-28 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: re

ed carried casey on his back in 06.

Casey's a zero.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 01:56PM | 0 recs
Re: re

That's total bs. Rendell ran a very strong campaign and largely picked up the tab for the statewide co-ordinated gotv efforts, but Casey was going to win regardless of anything Rendell did.

As soon as Casey declared he was running polls had him up double digits and it stayed that way right up to the 59 to 41% finish. Bob Casey locked down a crushing victory over Santorum at hello. Rendell and Casey at the top of the ticket was a very strong combination, they drew out two different base support groups.

by Quinton 2008-03-28 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: re

i was there too pal.   a potted plant would have beat santorum (and did)

rendells campaign manager,TE, an old friend, complained to me many times what a real loser casey was....how he couldnt raise a dime, couldnt pull his own weight.  after the things he said about rendell in 02, for him then to have rendell pay his fair was a weak and embarrassing thing to do.  His peers in pa do NOT respect him.

his dad was a vile dick and jr is noting but another son of...riding the name.

hes the patrick kennedy of the senate.

and he just bought himself a female pro choice challenger for 2012.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: re

I don't doubt Tricia had plenty to say about Casey. Everyone bitched that he kept a low profile and didn't raise a lot of money and was seemingly happy to let Rendell and the DSCC foot a good bit of the bill, but then it was Rendell who wanted Casey to run to boost the democratic vote for his own and the state leg's re-election (people were screaming loudly about the payraise and Rendell's numbers looked bad and the leg. got rolled in the primary). Rendell need not have worried, but it was a shrewed move on his part.

Casey would have won easily based solely on name id. No one else was in the position to do that. If a primary challenge from a pro-choice candidate, female or otherwise, happens in 2012 then so be it, but if it costs us a senate seat then it's not worth it. Casey is there on labor, economic, and trade issues and brings us closer to 60 votes to achieve cloture. If there's some particular person you have in mind for 2012, it'd have been nice if they'd run in 2006, especially if a "potted plant" could have beaten Santorum...

by Quinton 2008-03-28 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: re

he got there 100% because of his name.  he added nothing else.

have you ever spoken with the guy, hes got a 2 figure iq and the pizazz of a walnut.

and he and his campaign got arrogant and actually  thought they were good and that people were voting  for him add not against santorum!

now how stupid is that?

Admiral Joe's gonna go against spector... maybe a nice, jewish, pro choce, pro clinton us rep from montgomery county will give Pa a Senator to be proud of...

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: re

Of course it was his name id, no arguments there. Leaving that alone, I'd LOVE to see Spector replaced by an economical AND social liberal :-D

by Quinton 2008-03-28 03:59PM | 0 recs
Admiral Joe

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: re

Wow.

"Riding the name."

I'll let Hillary CLINTON supporters mull that one over a bit.

by freedom78 2008-03-28 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

very interesting insight into the politics of PA...I love hearing the story behind the story...

by Patriot2008 2008-03-28 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

The late Ron Brown. Mysteriously died in a plane crash in the ex-Yugoslavia. Very interesting indeed......

by KathyM 2008-03-28 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

are you joking or insane?

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

And this means what?

by Scotch 2008-03-28 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

Exactly what are you implying?  Are you afraid to say what you mean?  

I am guessing that you are a Republican.

by macmcd 2008-03-28 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

Too bad it was filled with the bitterness you accuse Casey of.  For once it would be nice to see something of substance.

by LtWorf 2008-03-28 02:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

substance to you means agreeing that your state senator is abe lincoln reborn.

you have no idea how much I despised Casey sr.

none.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

hillary supporters, lets unite and destroy this mans character before people of pennsylvania are fooled by his words.   by assassinating his character from several angles at once we can diminish any effect his endorsement might have had.     duty calls, it is time to saddle up.

by soros 2008-03-28 02:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

personally, Id luv it.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

Pennsylvania is all too familiar with his character. He was used to beat Santorum.  Goal met. Story over. Unfortunately, we're stuck with him, even after he has already served his purpose.

by Scotch 2008-03-28 05:31PM | 0 recs
It's Official!

Bob Casey no longer matters.  Next in line to be dismissed, please step up.

by venavena 2008-03-28 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

Thanks for the inside.  That explained everything.

by JoeySky18 2008-03-28 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

Casey is a wimp. And an Obama supporter. Yuck!

by Fleaflicker 2008-03-28 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

Does Casey have any clout in PA? Kennedy and Kerry didn't do much for Barack in MA.

by Upstate Dem 2008-03-28 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

if any only up in the NE, this is more for the media.

he sure doesnt have any machine.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

Casey is only in the Senate because it was felt that because of his family name, he would be the one to beat Santorum and he was needed as a warm body so that we could have a majority.  As we found out, a dog could have beaten Santorum. Outside of being a Democrat with a warm body, he is nothing.  He is even a little strange in my book, so he can keep his juvenile fued going and actually take more steps against women, and choice by supporting Obama.  Clinton, we know, cares about choice.  Who the hell knows what Obama really thinks about it.

by Scotch 2008-03-28 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

How exactly was it discovered that anybody could have beaten Santorum? Because Casey walloped him so badly? Where's the logic in arguing that someone other than Casey (who?) could have beaten Santorum because Casey did? Casey crushed Santorum because of the name id built up from his father's time as Gov. and his own multiple state-wide elections. Was there someone else with very positive and very high state-wide name id? If so why didn't they run?

Like I said above, Casey is hardly my ideal pol, but the idea that just anyone could have beaten Santorum  because Casey walloped him seems pretty silly to me.  Let's hope one of these other great progressive champions runs in 2010 for Governor and dominates the opposition.

by Quinton 2008-03-28 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

Barbara Haffer could have beaten Santorum easily, although she was a former Republican and turned Democratic, she was more liberal than Casey is in his views.  But it was known that REndell cleared the deck for Casey, and she withdrew her potential campaign.  I believe that Shummer was messing in PA politics to push for Casey, too.  Santorum was ready to go, after the Shiavo debacle, and the way Santorium acted during his campaign run, people were embarrassed to even be associated with him.  His attempts to pander to senior citizens and his commercials with him at a dance with them talking about Social Security was really laughable.

by Scotch 2008-03-28 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Family Fued: Why Bob Casey Jr is Backing Obama

I recalling hearing at the time that Rendell and Schumer pushed Haffer out of the race and I don't disbelieve it. You're right that she's more liberal than Casey, but I don't necessarily believe she would have won. At least you suggested a possibility though. That senior citizen dance ad was at the same time funny and cringe inducing ;)

by Quinton 2008-03-28 06:42PM | 0 recs

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