Politics & Policy

Keystone State Endorsements Begin to Roll In

With 15 days to go before Election Day, endorsements in the Keystone State are finally beginning to roll in. While the jury’s still out from the Philadelphia Inquirer, which is slowly ticking through candidate endorsements, a few others from the commonwealth’s major papers have arrived. What impact any of these will end up having on Nov. 2 is debatable, but for what it’s worth:

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Pat Toomey and Tom Corbett

The Tribune-Review is Pittsburgh’s right-leaning paper, and so it comes as little surprise that Pat Toomey wins its nod for Senate, and Tom Corbett picked up its endorsement for governor.

In its pithy endorsements, the paper hails Toomey for his “scholarship and demeanor”, saying, “Pat Toomey is another good and decent man. No, there’s not much ‘flash’ but Toomey is no shrinking violet.”

Corbett, meanwhile, is lauded for his “leadership”, but it’s clear that they’re mostly concerned with avoiding a “third Ed Rendell term.”

“Democrat Gov. Ed Rendell has run Pennsylvania into the ground,” declares the Tribune-Review. “The Democrat who hopes to succeed him, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, considers Mr. Rendell a role model. Need we say more?”

The Tribune-Review does, but we need not here.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Joe Sestak

The Post-Gazette is the mainstream liberal paper in the Steel City, and, as with the Tribune-Review, it’s not surprising that they chose Joe Sestak as their man for Senate. In the thread-bare phraseology of the political endorsement, their launching point asserts voters “are not likely to find a more high-contrast choice” than between Joe Sestak and Pat Toomey.

Joe Sestak, the paper assures its readers, is the “voice of reason” this cycle, and Sestak earns their praise thanks to his “smart” energy stance, his support of universal mandated medical insurance, and for his faith in government “improving the lives of Americans”.

The Post-Gazette had endorsed Arlen Specter in his primary fight against Sestak.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News: Tom Corbett

The Patriot-News, though based in Harrisburg, reaches a far wider, and less reliably Democratic readership than the residents of the city. They are supporting Tom Corbett.

The paper cites Corbett’s pledge not to raise taxes in his first term, asserting that the new governor would be judged by his success in “balancing the budget without significant tax increases.” The Patriot-News endorsement is the most even-handed in its treatment of both candidates, and specifically, in its listing of some of its “likes” about Dan Onorato.

The Patriot-News’s closing lines best sum up its reasoning, and if polling is any indication, the attitude of most likely voters in Pennsylvania:

It was not an easy choice between the two men, but in the end we like Corbett’s commitment to making much-needed changes in Harrisburg and his focus on balancing the budget even if, in the end, his plans are unpopular.

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