Chuck Pennacchio - Rabid defender of Democatic Ideals

So I watched the Democratic Pennsylvania senate primary debate last night and it was definitely interesting. Both Sals and Pennacchio were taking chunks of flesh out of Casey with direct attacks on the issues including gay marriage, the alito nomination, and the right to choose.

Chuck accused Bob of taking loads of special interest money in his campaign, including from the same usual right wing donors as Santorum. A point that Casey didn't really respond to in any meaningfull way. Chuck attacked the positions of the other two candidates (mostly Casey), mentioning campaign finance reform many times as the prerequisite for other types of reform that he would champion such as fair tax reform.

To Me, Chuck came across as the candidate with the most solid stance on the issues who really seemed to believe in what he was saying and clearly and forcefully articulated his positions.

That said: If I could tell Mr Pennacchio anything it would be: "Chuck! Calm down!" He was at times too animated and angry and it felt over the top to me. He also kept starting every statement with "I am the only candidate who..." Which was distracting, I was thinking about how I wished he could relax and be more of an orator and less of a sideshow talker than I was thinking about what he was actually saying.

Bob Casey on the other hand, despite the fact that he has an awkward habit of taking a breath in the middle of a sentence, articulated relatively well the typical Democrat talking points we are hearing these days, i.e. everything is the Republicans fault and we need to fix that by putting in Democrats, without saying WHY democrats would be better. His entire strategy seemed to attack Santorum and talk about how bad Santorum was, rather than why he was better or how his stances on issues were different. Which of course implies they aren't that different at all, as Chuck Pennacchio spent much of the night illuminating for us.

Bottom line for me is that, regardless of his odd debate style, Chuck is much closer to the kind of Senator I would like to have representing me in my state. If he would just calm down a bit and speak with what I think of as measured authority (think Al Gore), he would be my perfect candidate.


Tags: Debate, Pennacchio, pennaccio (all tags)



Re: Chuck Pennacchio - Rabid defender of Democatic

I've invited Chuck to come speak to SDNYC here in New York and his "animated" style was a bit of a turn-off.  However, we really like his stance on his issues.  The big thing is that everyone wants to beat Santorum so badly that they don't care who the guy they replace him with is.  That is IF they can beat Santorum.

We'll see...

by dayspring 2006-04-20 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Chuck Pennacchio - Rabid defender of Democatic


Santorum has been consistently trailing in the polls.  This isn't a longshot race by any means

by v2aggie2 2006-04-20 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Chuck Pennacchio: Why Isn't He Catching On?

Like you, I'm definitely a Chuck Pennacchio fan and I started an ACT BLUE Page for him 4 months ago. That's around the time I sold my home in Stroudsburg and I am no longer bi-coastal; I live in L.A. People I talk to back in Pennsylvania still seem unaware of Chuck-- and, ominously, still seem unaware of Casey's reactionary social stands. (I'm afraid that after the primary, Santorum will have no trouble depressing traditional Democratic turn-out by making sure traditional Democrats are aware of just how right-of-center Casey is.) So my question for you-- or for anyone else on the ground there following the race-- why hasn't Chuck been able to make a dent in the consciousness of PA Democrats? Watching from afar, it is very disheartening.

by DownWithTyranny 2006-04-20 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Chuck Pennacchio vs. Casey

I always get killed when I say anything in defense of Casey, but here I go again...

Outside of the fact that he's anti-choice, what exactly makes him conservative again?  

OK, he's not in favor of gay marriage - but he would support civil unions.  Seems to me that's the official stance of the Democratic Party and all of our recent (Clinton, Gore, Kerry)presidential nominees.

On the Iraq war, he again is right in the mainstream of the Democratic party.  We were lied to by Bush, we shouldn't have gone in, and we need to work on getting out as quickly as we can without destabilizing the country any more than we already have.  Maybe he should be more bold and explicitly call for troop removals, but you can hardly single him out for not doing that before he's even won the primary.  At least not when Kerry and Feingold are the only current Senators making such statements.    

He's also not in favor of a single payer health care system.  Last time I checked, neither were the vast majority of Democratic US Senators.  He is, however, in favor of significantly expanding health care coverage through incremental measures.  Perfect stance? - hardly.  Conservative?  Nope.

He also favors gun rights, which I gather some people don't like.  Well, Mark Warner, Brian Schweitzer, and (netroots favorite)Paul Hackett all hold the same position and if you're from Pa. then you know that so do most Democrats outside of Philadelphia.  

Honestly, I just don't get the hatred of Casey and the corresponding infatuation with Pennacchio.  Obviously Chuck is more ideologically pure on some issues, but the guy also has ZERO chance of winning and really does seem almost unhinged when he speaks in public.  Casey, meanwhile, is on the right side of an awful lot of issues that will help real people on a daily basis and would be replacing one of the single most offensive Senators in the country.  Please explain to me why that's a bad thing again?

by HSTruman 2006-04-20 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Chuck Pennacchio vs. Casey

You write:

"Honestly, I just don't get the hatred of Casey and the corresponding infatuation with Pennacchio.  Obviously Chuck is more ideologically pure on some issues, but the guy also has ZERO chance of winning and really does seem almost unhinged when he speaks in public. "

Well you answered the question unwittingly. They like him because he has zero chance of winning and because he is ideologically pure. For some reason they would rather lose with Pennachio than win with Casey.

Some on the left are honestly more concerned about "sending messages" that no one hears, about engaging in "symbolic protests" (the political equivalent of mooning), and being marginalized than actually win. For some perverse reason still unknown to me they take pride in their marginalization.

Why else do some of them openly want Casey to lose to Santorum? On DKos several Pennachio supporters have even stated that they would vote for Santorum as a "form of protest". I guess some people would rather lose than win.

by jiacinto 2006-04-20 05:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Chuck Pennacchio vs. Casey

Here's hoping that most folks in Pa don't feel that way.  Growing up around Pittsburgh I feel relatively confident that they don't, but sometimes I start to wonder after reading all the Casey bashing that goes on...

by HSTruman 2006-04-21 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Chuck Pennacchio vs. Casey

Just keep in mind that these folks don't even represent a sizeable minority within the Democratic Party. These boards attract the more hardcore left than moderates. Most ordinary PA Democrats don't seem to have issues with Casey. If they did Pennachio and Sandals would not be polling in the single digits.

by jiacinto 2006-04-21 07:28AM | 0 recs


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