Pulse: Character: Joe Torsella

Age: 45.

Known best as: Onetime Rendell aide and former head of the National Constitution Center, where he rubbed quill pens with everyone from George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton (past and current board chairs) to Bono (2007 Liberty Medal recipient).

Why we’re paying attention now: Just raised $600K in six weeks for his run as a Democrat in 2010’s U.S. Senate race, hoping to knock off Republican Arlen Specter (assuming Arlen survives an assault by rabid rightie Pat Toomey).

Why this might be the time for a non-politician like him: “America has moments of renewal where we drill down to the set of ideals the country was founded on but we’ve never quite achieved. Now is one of those times.”

Whether any ex-Presidents will campaign for him: Clinton, maybe; Bush 41, probably not. “But I’d be happy to have Bono.”