April 21, 2006

Some thoughts on this week's debate for Democratic Nomination for the U.S. Senate

First of all, if you missed it: you can't see it. At Junior's (Casey's) request use of the debate footage is restricted to fuck you if you missed it. I guess Bobby didn't like how the first one went -- Chuck Pennacchio got most of the applause. Smart move by Casey as Chuck got most of the applause this time too.

I suppose when you're running in a Democratic race in a BLUE STATE, Democrats actually want you to agree with the majority Democratic view and Casey just cannot win on the issues.

And speaking of issues, how were the candidates views on women's reproductive freedoms not on the list of questions this time? Maybe I missed it...or maybe Bobby got his way on this too. If you want to see what they said, it was live blogged by Politics Philly, Factesque and Above Average Jane. Albert from dragonballyee was at the debate and has loads of background detail and photos.

I will say (as I did on the call-in show after the debate) that Casey was able to raise his performance from limp dishrag to cardboard. The hosts of the call-in show had been saying that Casey needed to be more "passionate" and "aggressive." Have they never seen Bob "I put my own self to sleep" Casey speak before?

But back to the debate...

Casey cracked me up when in his opening statement he criticized Rick Santorum for all the money that he's taken from lobbyists. In case you don't know it, Casey has taken money from the same PACs that Rick has. There's a loooong list here. Casey was called on this by Pennacchio during the debate and also at the end when Pennacchio reminded the audience (and Casey) that there's no such thing as a free lunch.

Alan Sandals called out Casey too, asking him directly why he would not agree to debate in Philadelphia (PA's largest city). Casey did not answer. Sandals also reminded the audience that Casey, as treasurer, signed all those checks for the midnight pay raise -- a cheap shot to be sure -- but one which the audience liked. Though as Albert said, "Alan had been sounding more and more like he was advertising his firm than simply relating issues to him being a practicing pension lawyer running a small business." Sandals reminded me of the way Star "I am a Lawyer" Jones used to catch hell on Saturday Night Live for prefacing every opinion by mentioning her profession. That set up Chuck for one of his bigger laugh lines when he reminded the audience that he was the only guy running who wasn't a lawyer.

But back to the meat of the debate, Chuck got a big round of applause when he said that he would not ask anyone's permission to filibuster. He continued to receive the approval of the crowd by forcefully and intelligently coming out on the Democratic side of issues like Iraq, universal health care and a living wage.

While Casey made some minor cosmetic improvements to his performance in the first debate -- he managed to find a suit and tie for this one -- he continued to run as a shadow. He continued to give bloodless answers to the important issues of the day which for the most part where on the right side -- that is to say the wrong side -- of what the audience wanted to hear. That's why Casey is the one making sure the least number of people can hear what he has to say and what Chuck has to say. Because when you compare the two, there's really no contest who better represents the Democratic voters in the Blue State of Pennsylvania.

Not that anyone would actually want to bring out the base...



What you can do to help out the winner of both debates:

Saturday, April 22. Earth Day!
Reach out to Conservationalists and tell them the good news about Chuck! Meet at Pittsburgh’s celebration - the Rhododendron Shelter, Lake Dr. in Highland Park at 11:00am-12:30pm. Directions to the Rhodendron Shelter, Highland Park from Fifth Ave.:
From Fifth Ave., Take S. Negley north.
At Baum Blvd., veer right onto N. Negley.
Follow past Penn Ave. and E. Liberty Blvd.
Turn right onto Stanton Ave.
Stanton will turn into Lake Drive once you enter the park.
Follow to the Rhododendron shelter (near the small pond - not the Reservoir)

Saturday, April 22. More Earth Day!
Meet at 6:30 PM to attend an Environmental Film Screening. In the Phipps area. More details to come, but please save the time and date.

Wednesday, April 26th.
Meet at 7:00 PM for a Strategy meeting. Meet at Beehive on the Southside. We need to discuss canvassing and hosting a large event for Chuck in May.

Friday, April 28th.
Meet at 6:00 PM at PNC Park in front of the Roberto Clemente statue to hand out baseball cards for Chuck. These are really great cards with Chuck's picture on the front and his "stats" on the back.

Saturday, April 29th.
Meet 9:00 AM at Pamela's in the Strip District. This will be a literature distribution and signing up volunteers in the busy Strip District.

Thursday, May 5th.
Attend the annual SEAD (South End Active Democrats) to hand out literature for Chuck. More details to come later, but please save the date!

Have a suggestion for a busy place to do a lit drop? Want to hold a house party? Send your ideas! We really need help with Canvassing and Yard Signs will be here soon! or email

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UPDATE: Looks like PCN relented a bit. You can find a pocast there or listen to the audio at


Anonymous said...

PCN TV just put up the link to the downloadable video via .mp4:

Philip Shropshire said...

Actually, I thought Chuck won the debate, convincingly this time but got screwed by the two suit analysts who offered their thoughts on the quixotic campaign....

djhlights said...

In other Earth Day news, they are renaming the 9th street bridge the Rachel Carson Bridge Saturday from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Anonymous said...

Maria, I understand you are rabid about politics. Is this true?