Three things that will last forever: tragedy, triumph and polls. See who made this week’s list!
Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love lived up to its moniker this week. The tragic Amtrak derailment broke the nation’s heart but the rescue efforts of the first responders (firefighters, police, even ordinary citizens) proves something special about the human spirit.
House Appropriations Committee. Unfortunately, however, despite our better nature we inevitably fall into a vicious cycle whenever some tragedy occurs. After the initial shock, we look for ways to prevent another horrific event only to be told “now is not the time”. Of course, the time for change never comes and soon we’re on to the next national obsession. The House Appropriations Committee, though, must have broken some kind of record. Just hours after the crash, they voted to cut funds from Amtrak. The sad truth is that Congress has their own misguided set of priorities and infrastructure just doesn’t make the cut. What’s most depressing, though, is the realization that no outside event, not even a national tragedy, can change that.
Jim Kenney. Switching gears, it’s hard to imagine a better week for Jim Kenney. It began with endorsements from the Daily News, the PDPC and another new ad from a supportive Super PAC. The big bombshell, of course, was the Inquirer/NBC10 poll. Most observers would probably have guessed Kenney was in the lead but his twenty-seven point edge was shocking. His poll performance was so impressive that Council President Darrell Clarke and Controller Alan Butkovitz jumped to endorse him. All of a sudden, the campaign’s biggest concern is making sure their supporters still vote and don’t just assume they’ll win.
All Other PHL-15 Candidates. We’d have to guess that many rival campaign staffers, and perhaps some candidates, had this (NSFW) reaction after reading the Inquirer/NBC10 poll results. With no independent polling firms tracking the race, it gave every campaign the most valuable resource of all, hope. Now comes the toughest work, when you have to swim against the current in the hopes of pulling off a massive upset or just to finish with your head held high.
Tom Wolf. Governor Wolf experienced a number of milestones this week. First, he oversaw his first statewide crisis. Then, he signed his first bill into law. In fact, Wolf signed four pieces of legislation and saw nine of his cabinet members confirmed. Additionally, a new Harper poll found his favorability ratings above water, a rare occurrence for politicians nowadays. Finally, his nominee for Police Commissioner Marcus Brown was cleared of all charges after a bizarre sign-removing episode. Gov. Wolf should have some much-needed momentum as we head towards the summer budget fight.
Pat Toomey. Speaking of polls, it could be argued Sen. Toomey got the best news of all. Harper found the incumbent with a twenty-one point lead over his 2010 opponent (and early 2016 front-runner) Joe Sestak. Pennsylvania’s junior Senator is in such an advantageous position that Terry Madonna devoted his Politically Uncorrected column to the Senator’s rising fortunes. Now Sen. Toomey just has to keep that advantage, although that’s easier said than done.
Tweet of the week has to go to former Congressman Patrick Murphy. Rep. Murphy was on Amtrak #188 and broke the news of the crash through this tweet.