The reality of Lynn Swann is that this guy could actually win. After looking at his website I cannot really see what he stands for other than the fact that he is anti-choice. Rendell, a candidate I no longer ruthlessly defend, could actually get crushed by Swann.
He’s a famous Steeler who doesn’t say much and likes to smile at people. If he is lucky he’ll let the kicking and screaming go on in the Senate race, and he’ll slowly build momentum until he takes over the gubernatorial race. This is truly embarrassing for Pennsylvania. That fact this dolt even stands a chance speaks leagues to our civil naiveté.
Bill Scranton dropped out of the race so it is just Swann and Rendell now. After seeing 250,000 people pour into down Pittsburgh to congratulate the Steelers (app 78% of the city’s population), I am very scared Swann will be able to use his celebrity status to become a challenging candidate.
Rendell is a great politician. He smiles, has fun, and people thoroughly enjoy him. These were the qualities that let him beat Bob Casey and Mike Fisher in 2002 (not to mention millions of dollars). Casey was stale and unsure of himself when he spoke, and Fisher treated the crowds like he was giving a Latin lecture. Rendell laughed, joked, shook hands and talked to old ladies over diner pie. This time the governor must prepare himself to run on something more than his ability to be liked.
If I were running his campaign the first thing I would do it to make him look like an accomplished statesman prepared to lead this state to some of its greatest successes and victories. Pennsylvanians are tired of living in a backwater, and we need a leader to take us out from it. I would tell Rendell to drop the slick politician makeover and run as something of a noble general (think Caesar). Would it work? Who the hell knows, but I can guarantee it would set him apart from Swann who has nothing to stand on but the fact that he is a celebrity.
We can not underestimate this threat, because if we do Rendell will be singing his swan song next November.