Does Pennsylvania Have a Self-Esteem Problem?

Gov. Wolf says so — and runs into trouble.

Tom Wolf

Gov. Wolf is finding out these days how easy it is to generate a little bit of political trouble for himself. The latest example? Telling a National Governors Association panel that “the biggest problem in Pennsylvania is low self-esteem.”

PoliticsPA reports on the governor’s comment:

“I’m not saying this is a matter of just confidence, and that kind of thing, but I think one of the things that a good leader does is – and I think as governors we have this opportunity to do that – is to actually tout our own potential, and make sure that we’re not wasting away in part because we don’t think we’re as good as we’re really are,” the Governor said.

Why’s that a problem? Well, as PoliticsPA observes, “Ever since President Carter’s 1979 ‘malaise’ speech politicians run from any statement questioning citizen’s confidence in fear of being viewed as weak or critical.”

Sure enough, PA GOP Communications Director Megan Sweeney released her own statement:

“Governor Tom Wolf continues to prove just how out of touch he is with Pennsylvania families. Every day, millions of Pennsylvanians are working hard to provide for their families in the face of his looming high tax, big government agenda. Now, Governor Tom Wolf wants to raid family budgets and complain about our attitudes.

Governor Wolf’s decision to call Pennsylvania an ‘underachiever’ is a slap in the face to every hard-working Pennsylvanian in this great Commonwealth. Pennsylvania is the greatest state in America, and Governor Wolf’s public bashing of our great Commonwealth says more about him than it does about Pennsylvania.”

A spokesman for Gov. Wolf tried to walk the comment back,saying that Pennsylvania is, in fact, awesome — except for the parts that Gov. Tom Corbett left behind, damaged and bruised:

“Of course the $2.3 billion deficit Governor Wolf inherited along with a middle class that is burdened and schools that are suffering as a result of his predecessor’s cuts are the greatest challenges Pennsylvania faces,” Sheridan said. “As he has always said, the governor believes Pennsylvania is too modest about promoting its tremendous assets like our natural resources, our universities, our geographic location, our ports, and our great cities – to name only a few. He has said that many times.”

The lesson? Pennsylvania rocks. Never, ever suggest otherwise.