John Baer Wrote Today’s Funniest Line About Pennsylvania Politics

The Daily News‘ John Baer writes today that Gov. Tom Corbett is on the verge of a defeat so deep and humiliating it would be kinder to use a “mercy rule” to award the governorship to Tom Wolf right this second.

Corbett’s excuse for trailing? He didn’t realize he needed to work so hard to tout his own accomplishments. Which leaves Baer’s mouth agape, metaphorically speaking:

If Corbett loses, he needn’t look far for the principal reason why.

In a recent interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, he himself spelled it out:

“Frankly, I always was of the philosophy – and I certainly am changing that now – that if you do a good job, people will recognize it and it will get reported.”

This betrays either a profound misunderstanding of politics, a long-term disconnect from reality or the cognitive powers of a cocker spaniel.

Ouch. Funny. But ouch. We’re guessing Baer won’t get a Christmas card this year.

Tom Corbett: “Dead Man Walking”

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The news isn’t getting any better for the governor:

Corbett is down 24 percentage points to Wolf, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll of 1,161 likely voters. With less than two months until the Nov. 4 election, Corbett has virtually no chance of closing the gap that shows 59 percent of voters support Wolf, compared with 35 percent of voters who support Corbett, said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll.

“He is dead man walking,” Malloy said.

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Magazine Says Pa. Governor Race Is “Likely Democratic”

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Less than two months to the election, and Tom Wolf’s defeat of Tom Corbett is increasingly looking like a sure thing.

PoliticsPA points to Governing magazine, which every year offers election forecasts. The magazine has changed its forecast of the Pennsylvania governor’s race from “leaning Democratic” to “likely Democratic,” and seems likely to be the only Republican-held governorship to change hands this year.
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“Torture Porn” Actor Feels Used by Republicans

Alan Benyak, the actor who appeared in a recent Tom Wolf ad — after having already appeared in the “torture porn” film Breeding Farm —is mad at the GOP for blowing his old acting assignment out of proportion.

“I feel I’m being bandied about by the Republican party, the National Republican Party, and certainly the Corbett people,” Benyak told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
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Tom Wolf: Perfect Stranger

The candidate in his home in Mt. Wolf. Photograph by Colin Lenton

The candidate in his home in Mt. Wolf. Photograph by Colin Lenton

In 1957, Tom Wolf and his father attended a baseball game at Connie Mack Stadium.

Wolf’s team, the Phillies, faced the St. Louis Cardinals, including Stan Musial, the player who broke Babe Ruth’s extra-base-hits record. The stadium announcer’s voice crackled through the loudspeakers, informing the crowd that anyone from Donora, Pennsylvania, Musial’s hometown, could get the slugger’s autograph when the game ended.

After the last out, Bill Wolf led his son to the visiting locker room.

“What do you think?” his father asked. “You want to go in?”

Fifty-seven years later, Tom Wolf would be the presumptive next governor of Pennsylvania. But that night, he was just an eight-year-old baseball-crazed kid standing mere feet from one of his heroes.

“No,” Tom replied. “We’re not from Donora.”

“They won’t know that,” his father said.

“No,” Tom repeated. “It wouldn’t be right.”

I hear this story from Wolf’s parents, Bill and Cornelia, at their rambling old country house in the borough of Mount Wolf, about eight miles north of York. The couple is in their 90s, dignified-old-money in every way, but the tale feels as though it hails from an even earlier time, reminiscent of apocrypha and legends like the one about George Washington and the cherry tree. There are other family fables about Honest Tom, and the Wolfs eagerly share them, delighted that their son’s virtue outdoes even their own.

The stories also echo Tom Wolf’s campaign narrative. A virtual unknown when the year began, Wolf blitzed the state with ads that declared him “not your ordinary candidate” and defined him in broadly likeable terms: South Central Pennsylvania kid. Highly educated, with a stint in the Peace Corps. Married to the same gal for 38 years. Two daughters. Started off driving a forklift in the family business, then took over, making it America’s largest supplier of kitchen cabinets.

He shared 20 to 30 percent of the profits with his employees, the ads tell us — and yes, that does sound virtuous. In 2006, he and his partners sold their majority stake in the company, and Wolf resigned and accepted a position as secretary of revenue under Governor Ed Rendell. He donated his government salary to charity and refused a state car, driving a dorky Jeep instead. He explored a run for governor in 2009, but he got a call from his old management team telling him the business he’d led for 20 years faced foreclosure. So Wolf tabled his political dream for a time and manned his old post, saving the family business and hundreds of jobs.

“I’m Tom Wolf,” he says, “and I’ll be a different kind of governor.”
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Poll: Wolf’s Lead Over Corbett Widens

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This could be the most boring gubernatorial race ever.

A new poll shows Democratic challenger Tom Wolf 25 points ahead of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, with just two months left before the election — favored by 49 percent of poll respondents compared to 24 percent for Corbett. That’s a bigger lead than most polls that have shown the Democrat about 20 points ahead.

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Corbett: Women Want Liquor Law Reform So They Can Speed Up Dinner Prep

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett would no doubt like to shore up his female support before the election. One way he could do it: Pointing out his support of liquor law reform! Sure, that doesn’t seem like a women’s issue, particularly, but it’s something a lot of Pennsylvanians support.

And, hey, here’s a quote from last month: “I think a lot of people want to be able to walk into a grocery store, particularly, a lot of the women, want to go and buy a bottle of wine for dinner, go down, buy a 6 pack or two 6 packs, buy dinner and go home rather than what I described as 3 stops in Pennsylvania.”

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