Over on the home page, I offer a “Part Two” of sorts to last week’s interview with Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, a look at his prospects to be the running mate on the GOP ticket in 2012. The downsides are pretty clear — Toomey was only elected in 2010, he’s rather serious, earnest and wonkish, and there’s no guarantee that he would bring the state of Pennsylvania into the GOP column.
But the upsides are pretty considerable: He’s the rare Tea Party favorite (former head of the Club for Growth who was taking on Arlen Specter as a sellout back when most people heard the word “RINO” and thought of wildlife) who graduated Harvard; he’s a blue-collar family success story who worked in both the heights of international finance on Wall Street and Asia and also was a successful small businessman, running pizza joints and sports bars in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He’s no rookie to government having served in the House from 1998 to 2004, but he’s also no creature of Washington or the establishment. He’s a Catholic, reliable pro-life social conservative. In three of his last four years in the House, Toomey scored a perfect 100 percent on the American Conservative Union’s voting scorecards. He opposed TARP from the beginning. And… well, with Pennsylvania appearing to be in play this cycle… maybe he would bring the Keystone State home for the Republicans; doing so would almost eliminate any realistic route for Obama to get 270 electoral votes.