Michelman for Senate in PA? Please, no!
by RamblinDave, Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 10:18:31 AM EST
Cross posted at Daily Kos and at my blog.
Something tells me she'll decide against it in the end, but it appears that Kate Michelman, the abortion rights leader, is thinking of running as a spoiler in the Pennsylvania Senate race. Well, of course, she doesn't intend to be a spoiler, but let's not kid ourselves.
Now, I sympathize with Michelman. Rick Santorum is an affront to the 21st century in just about every way. Just last year, he literally wrote the book on why a woman's place is still in the home. He also famously compared gay marriages to bestiality, a move that inspired the blogosphere to adopt his name as another word for...well, something you can't print in papers. I'd like to provide a link here, but my mother reads this blog. The rest of you can google it if you like!
His "Democratic" opponent, Bob Casey Jr., is not only also staunchly anti-choice on abortion, he's also running a terrible campaign and shows every sign of being willing and able to blow his current lead in the polls. Besides, if Casey is elected, his very presence in the Senate will surely continue to saddle Democrats with the false, but widely believed, tale that they barred his father from speaking at the 1992 convention because he was anti-choice.
Here's the thing...I know I'm always railing against Democrats running as me-too Republicans, but this is one case where it just might pay off. There are a lot of right-wing Democrats in Pennsylvania who will vote on the abortion issue alone, and for that reason they wouldn't vote for most Dems against Santorum, but they will vote for Casey. Casey, while the lesser of two evils, will at least provide one more vote for the Democratic caucus and remove one of the biggest extremists in DC from office.
If Michelman runs as a third party candidate, she will have no chance of accomplishing anything other than splitting the anti-Santorum vote. She'll never attract enough Democratic votes to win, no matter how poorly Casey runs - there just aren't enough pro-choicers in Pennsylvania, at least not who will vote on that issue alone. Some will hold their noses and vote for Casey because he's the establishment candidate, and I'm sure a lot of Republican women in suburban Philadelphia will vote for Santorum because they want tax cuts and are confident that abortion will never be outlawed across the river in New Jersey.
Not only does Michelman not have a big enough base to have any hope of winning even if she were a decent candidate, she'd also make a terrible candidate. She's arrogant and effete and probably both unable and unwilling to exude the plain-folks appeal you'd need to win in a mostly blue-collar state like Pennsylvania. And yes, I do speak from personal experience. I had occasion to talk to her on the phone once when I was working for a pollster in DC whom she often worked with. Her car-phone wasn't working right, and she called our office from it twice but I couldn't hear anything at my end. The third time, she had her assistant call from her office and, when she successfully got through to me, demanded to know what was wrong with our phone. She was absolutely adamant that the technical problem must have been at our end, even though we'd had no other problems with any other callers and she'd only gotten through successfully via another phone. Yeah, that attitude would really go over well in Altoona.
Don't do it, Kate. Please.