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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What About Us?

Labor Day has come and gone.  It's been the traditional start of the campaign season.  That concept went out the window a long time ago.  The next campaign begins as soon as the last vote is counted.  Still, many of us see Labor Day as the day things get serious.

I'm still waiting for that big appearance from Obama, Biden, Romney or Ryan.

Most polls have Pennsylvania leaning blue in November.  A few newspaper stories, including one in Sunday's Pittsburgh Post Gazette, say the Romney camp has given up on Pennsylvania, and its 20 electoral votes, and that's unfortunate.

Still, northeastern and central Pennsylvania ought not to be forgotten.  Yes, we did have that quickie visit from VP Joe Biden back in July.  We deserve more.

This is an enormous TV market-- from the New York line to nearly Harrisburg...  from the Delaware River to nearly the center of the state.  There are votes to be corralled here,  minds to be changed.  Republicans need to solidify the base in the northern tier and central part of the state.  Democrats have to make sure heavily Democratic Scranton and Wilkes-Barre are united, and they can whittle away at areas where the opposition is strong.

This election fascinates me, at least from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton perspective.  This area is heavily Democratic.  Advantage:  Obama.  But, the economy is bad and there are a lot of people out of work.  Advantage:  Romney.  The former Massachusetts governor is portrayed by many as an enemy of the middle class.  This is a huge blue collar area.  Advantage:  Obama.  Voters have been fond of change in recent years.  Advantage:  Romney.

I'll defer here to the campaign experts.  The Romney people aren't spending advertising money here.  Pennsylvania will be blue in eight weeks.  The election will be won or lost in Ohio and Florida.

Still, I can't believe we've gone this long with only one major visit.

I'm sure we'll get the surrogates-- the second cousin of the nephew of the guy who cut the lawn at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis, or the neighbor who once mistakenly received George H.W. Bush's mail.  It's a big yawn.  No one cares, and I can't see how the surrogates can garner many votes for their candidates.

We'll also get the "fly ins."  Candidates will arrive at the airport, step off the jet, say a few words, shake hands with the local politicos, kiss a baby, and fly out.

We need to see the candidates, in person, who should look you in the eye, answer your questions, and ask for your vote.