CITY HALL SAM: Dangerous Donald or Haughty Hillary? Philly, Pa. Offer Peak Political Action in 2016

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Hillary Clinton


After a long and beautiful summer, the much-dreaded – I mean, anticipated – presidential campaign season is upon us.

The polling shows the race between DONALD TRUMP and HILLARY CLINTON tightening up. This is a really horrifying thing, considering Trump is often entirely ill-informed and/or has dangerous views.

Clinton has outraised Trump by over $100 million, but does not seem to have the professional staff or personal skills to act like a real human being on the stump. Americans want to see a real person who can explain why they will make the best president. Hillary and her team seems so afraid of making mistakes or being discovered as flawed that they can’t project any true vision connected to a personality. Clinton should’ve put this race away a long time ago. God forbid that Trump performs acceptably well in the upcoming debate.

In the meantime, the battle for US Senate is all the more interesting. SEN. PAT TOOMEY and KATIE McGINTY are going back and forth in the polls. McGinty’s campaign has been anything but focused and energized, but somehow she either has a 2-point lead or is trailing by 2 points. Toomey’s campaign seems to be surgically focused on guns and the economy, but he cannot pull away.

The state and country both seem to be lashing out at any connection with Wall Street. McGinty has many of the same Wall Street connections that Toomey has and is probably guilty of hypocrisy as she wallops Toomey for them; but just like in that battle between RICK SANTORUM and BOB CASEY, the voters don’t seem to care. They make up their mind that they’ve had it with the candidate and they stop listening.

The Clinton campaign must think that they have Philly all sewn up. No one from the presidential campaign attended the Philly Labor Day parade. Instead, VP candidate TIM KAINE went to Pittsburgh. He marched with RICH FITZGERALD, the Allegheny County Chief Executive, and MAYOR BILL PEDUTO. Pittsburgh has about 300,000 people; Philadelphia, more than 1.5 million. Philadelphia’s five-county region is twice as populous as the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

Among the labor leaders marching at the Philly parade were ANTHONY GALLAGHER of the Steamfitters and GARY MASINO of the Sheet Metal Workers. MAYOR JIM KENNEY, adorned in a golf shirt, also marched in the parade. If the Clinton campaign wants to pump turnout in this town, these are the sorts of people who will be manning the pumps.

Big cities such as Philadelphia are always crucial in presidential races. The other factor is that the national campaigns always ignore the local politicians. For them, it is Tuesday or perish. But the folks who work full-time on national campaigns only care about their own position. It is human nature. In fact, they care more about their room position then they do about their own presidential candidate. It’s amazing that many of the staffers show back up every four years with the same standard of ineptitude and failure to include the folks who actually know how to get out the votes.

It will be interesting to see how the two Attorney General candidates battle it out to show who is better against corruption. KATHLEEN KANE has resigned in disgrace and now prosecutor BRUCE BEEMER will fill out the term. Both JOHN RAFFERTY and JOSH SHAPIRO will argue about why this kind of corruption and disgrace warrants their election. Rafferty has prosecutorial experience as a former Montgomery County DA. Shapiro has none. The voters have over the years favored Republicans in this type of race, up until Kane’s election. Let’s see if they go back to what they’ve done before.

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