12/12 Ups & Downs
Staff announcements, 2016 and PA Society. See who made this week’s list!
Tom Wolf. It was a busy week for the Governor-Elect but we suppose they’ll all be from now on. He announced a number of top hires, including his former primary opponent John Hanger as Secretary of Planning and Policy. Wolf also unveiled a multitude of review teams that would study the current conditions of various state agencies and commissions. The future Governor sure looks like he has things under control at the moment. While appearances don’t say much, it’s all we have so far.
Kathleen Kane. The Attorney General oversaw another staff shake-up this week. In this round, she brought in Clintonite Blake Rutherford as her new Chief of Staff. Kane will also be bringing on a new Legislative Director and Assistant Press Secretary. These moves come after a number of top officials have left the Attorney General’s office. The adoption of a new team indicates an effort to turn around recent negative perceptions. So in one way the move is an admission of difficulty yet it is also an indication that things are liable to change.
Rick Santorum. Former Senator Rick Santorum essentially announced that he’ll be running for President in 2016. Four years ago, Santorum surprised the political world when he emerged from the back of the pack to narrowly win the Iowa caucuses. In fact, he ended up finishing second in the 2012 GOP primary. Now he’s giving it another shot and given the fact that he’s been running for over three years now, he should have an early edge. The question will be whether he can take advantage.
Pat Toomey. With the 2016 election season starting, it’s time for Senator Toomey to get into re-election mode. On Thursday, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball released their first Senate rankings for 2016 and classified Sen. Toomey as one of three toss-up seats. As a result, PA’s junior Senator can expect a brutal battle over the next two years. Publicly he insists his mind is on Capitol Hill this year but if he doesn’t have at least one eye on the Keystone State in 2015, then 2016 could be a bad year for him.
PA’s Top Operatives. A shameless plug for our 2014 list of Pennsylvania’s top political operatives. Congratulations and good luck living up to the expectations.
The tweet of the week goes to Lauren Vidas for the perfect description of this weekend’s big event.
For the uninitiated, PA Society is a celebration of Pennsylvania for Pennsylvanians by Pennsylvanians in New York City.
— Lauren Vidas (@BroadAndMarket) December 11, 2014