Who had a good week? And who wishes they could take it back? Check out this week’s Ups & Downs.
Tom Smith. It’s hard to have a worse week than the GOP Senate hopeful. He badly fumbled a question about abortion that, post-Todd Akin, every pro-life candidate should be prepared to answer. His response, to inadvertently compare conception out of wedlock to conception by rape, drew rebuke from other Republicans. We’ll be watching to see whether he’ll still be used as a Romney/Ryan surrogate. If all that wasn’t enough, a poll came out Monday showing Smith trailing Casey by 19 points, 53 to 34.
Arlen Specter. Say what you will about the former Senator, but no one can question his toughness. It was revealed this week that Specter was diagnosed with cancer for the third time (he had chemo for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2005 and another cancer in 2008). But more incredibly, after some had feared the worst, he recently recovered to the point that he was able to leave the hospital. Specter, by the way, helped steer more than $30 billion to medical research over the course of his career.
Mike Fitzpatrick. In 2010, the Congressman was a challenger facing a big fundraising disadvantage. So he tried to make the incumbent’s money a liability, by calling on Patrick Murphy to agree to a $1 million campaign spending limit. Now Fitzpatrick is the incumbent with the cash advantage, and summarily dismissed his own suggestion (his Dem challenger Kathy Boockvar hasn’t called for such a limit, either). His 2010 pro-limit quotes are priceless.
Keith Rothfus. The PA-12 candidate was the only state politico who nabbed a speaking slot at the RNC other than Rick Santorum. During his speech, he talked Medicare, Obamacare and shared his own personal battle with cancer. Medicare has been a hot topic with both parties recently, but is always a concern for the constituents of the 12th district. His appearance can mean only good things for Rothfus as the election approaches.
SD-40 voters. Randy Vulakovich was sworn in this week as the new state Senator from a district that has been without one for some time. Months before Jane Orie retired, she withdrew from her official duties. The voters and taxpayers of the North Hills of Allegheny County once again have a voice in the Senate.
Tweet of the week: Yuri Beckelman, the Pennsylvania Campaign Communications Director for the AFL-CIO. He was responding to this poll by Rep. Jim Gerlach’s campaign that showed the incumbent with 92 percent name ID.
@politicspa – 92% name ID for Gerlach?!?! Maybe Leno should tape an episode of Jaywalking here, mensa edition.
— Yuri Beckelman (@YuriBeckelman) August 27, 2012