I don’t know who will seek the GOP nomination to fill Congressman Murtha’s seat, or even if PA law provides for nominations by ballot or from the party. If the latter, I hope the PA GOP avoids the self-destructive impulse that led the New York party bosses to nominate Dede Scozzafava in New York 23rd’s special last year.
Without any names yet put forward or candidacies declared, here’s my description of the perfect candidate.
He or she will have been a long time member of the community, though, in this heavily gerrymandered district, if their residence is between one of the screwball boundary lines (see below) as opposed to within them, that isn’t a big deal.
He or she will have been a veteran of the military, and familiar with the war in which we find ourselves.
He or she will be a small-to-medium sized business owner or operator, who has actually created jobs, made a payroll, and provided health insurance to their employees.
He or she will attend some congregation, participate in the community’s self-organizing charitable work, and generally be recognized as a good man or woman to have on a team tackling some problem.
He or she will be a parent, preferably either in the middle of or not too far removed from the trials and joys of raising children in this era, and concerned about the state of the country’s fiscal situation, a legacy of shame that needs to be tackled now.
He or she will be smart, curious, and as well-read as their business allows them to be. They will be up to speed on the key issues, but not wonkish or an academic removed from the reality of every day life.
They will have attended a Tea Party gathering of some sort. They will not have run for office before but feel that now is a critical time in our country’s history.
He or she will support the rights of the unborn, support free speech and the right to bear arms, and a robust military.
God forbid the cheer for the Steelers, but I suppose that is inevitable given the geography. If, however, we could find a Cleveland Browns fan among them –and it is not too far from the Lake to hope– that would be a benefit.
He or she would listen to Rush, Sean, Levin, Ingraham and my colleagues Bennett, Gallagher, Prager and Medved when they could find the time between their business and their home and community duties. They would also read the New York Times or the Washington Post online, and glance at Politico.com and Powerline when they had a few spare moments. In short, they will have had a long time interest in the substance of the debates that absorb the chattering classes without having been captive to them.
They would read books, both fiction and non-fiction, and travel as they could. They could tell a joke and be the subject of a good natured one.
They will love the idea of harnessing technology for a lightning campaign, won’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” when necessary in the many interviews they are willing to give, and will have an easy smile and confidence on a platform.
Their spouse will support the idea wholeheartedly and be a good campaigner themselves, and the kids if they are still at home will be game. They too will almost certainly and sadly be Steeler fans. We cannot have every thing.
They will have a dog. And maybe a truck.
And most of all, a vast amount of common sense, for D.C. is in need of great quantities of it.