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I sometimes get rebuttals via e-mail rather than comments, mostly due to either some difficulties with the Typekey authorization interface or just the length and depth of the rebuttals themselves. I received two today that deserve special mention on posts I wrote early this morning.
On my post about Lynn Swann and the exit of Bill Scranton from the governor's race, I received this e-mail from a political activist in PA who wishes to remain anonymous:
I read your blog daily, and have nothing but the utmost respect you for you. However, when I read your post this morning on Bill Scranton’s having dropped out of the Gubernatorial race, I could have smashed my head through a wall. With all due respect, this is what happens when campaigns are viewed and analyzed “from afar.” I’m a blogger and political consultant in Pennsylvania, and I can tell you that your characterization of Scranton as the insider and Swann as the outsider is patently wrong. Bill Scranton is a former Lt. Governor, you are correct. However, he has angered all of the Republican party leadership in PA with his message of reform. Swann, on the other hand, was recruited into this race by State Senate President Pro Tem Bob Jubelirer, the pro-choice, pay raising, tax raising, corrupt, big government Republican from the 30th District (my district). Swann’s campaign manager, Ray Zaborney, is even the boyfriend of Jubelirer’s campaign manager. Swann was set to get the endorsement of the Republican State Committee precisely because he is the leadership’s hand-picked lapdog. ...
Again, I love your blog and agree with you 99% of the time. However, not only is Swann not the right candidate, he doesn’t stand a chance of beating Ed Rendell.
This person suggested that people check out this Pennsylvania political blog to get a taste of the electorate. I'd note that while Jubelirer is pro-choice, Swann has already stated that he is pro-life, and it's not uncommon for people in the same party to share connections between campaign staff. I think that the recruitment of Lynn Swann came from people a few pay grades above Jubelirer as well, remembering that Swann got podium time at the Republican convention in 2004 (and did a nice job as well). However, it's good to hear from folks in PA and I'll be keeping a closer eye on the issues that the commenter raises.
The second rebuttal regarded my post about the Anne Applebaum column this morning, and it came from Applebaum herself, who thinks I treated her unfairly and harshly in my post. I consulted with a couple of people I trust, who thought I could have treated her a bit more kindly and thought that accusing her of deliberately distorting history was unfair. I'll let the readers decide. I've offered Ms. Applebaum an opportunity to rebut me on the blog, but I'm not going to reproduce our correspondence as I didn't get the chance to ask her if she felt comfortable with that. I'd encourage CQ readers to read her entire column and then post your assessment in the comments on this post.
UPDATE: And in a new feature here at CQ, we have Rebuttal RebuttalsTM! Here's a comment from a seasoned PA media consultant who takes issue with the above rebuttal, again anonymously (ellipses in original):
The tone of the e-mail you received from the "blogger and political consultant" sounds to me as if it was written by a bitter Scranton supporter. I've heard disparaging comments from lobbyists I know, and one of the low-level Scranton folks, that Swann has no government/executive experience. Sounds to me like the entrenched bureaucracy (R's, D's, doesn't matter which) is fearful of what a real government outsider will bring to the table (i.e., fear of any change in status quo). And I wish I had recorded/written this down...but two days before then-campaign manager Jim Seif melted down on statewide TV, I briefly chatted with Mr. Seif at the Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg...and in front of me he said to another person (they appeared to know each other) something to the effect that they had some good dirt on Swann and were going to exploit it....could this Zaborney-Jubelirer thing be that dirt? I have no clue....just something else to consider....but if it IS the dirt Seif talked about, that for me would be further evidence that your e-mailer is an angry Scranton supporter. Finally, my understanding of the Swann-Rendell poll numbers is that such a tight race, this early, is almost unheard of in PA gubernatorial history. I interpret that as a good sign for Swann, although I acknowledge that so far he has been overtly non-specific as to how he'll govern and what policies he'll support/propose--Swann clearly needs to sharpen his focus/attack on Rendell as the campaign unfolds.
Here's my analysis: it's a good thing that Pennsylvania Republicans aren't going to have that primary, because it looks like that might have turned into one bloody mess -- and Ed Rendell would have been the beneficiary.Sphere It View blog reactions
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