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PA-Sen: The Atlantic, “The Left’s Answer to Trump Is 6 Foot 8 and Wears Shorts in February”

3 min read

Have some weekend reading for you. The Atlantic has a great piece out about U.S. Senate candidate, Lt. Governor John Fetterman (D. PA), that’s worth a ready. Here’s a taste:

Fetterman has already raised lots of money—$500,000 in just the first 72 hours he was in the race—in part as a power move to scare the opposition. “He’s doing everything right: raising money in small donations; he’s getting around the state; he’s employing his wife, who’s charming and bright and a great speaker,” says former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who wasn’t happy to see Fetterman run in the 2016 Senate primary against his own preferred candidate, in what was that year’s most complicated, divisive Democratic primary. “He’s the candidate to beat, no question.” A poll that circulated around Washington in February, in the weeks after the shotgun story resurfaced, showed that Fetterman didn’t take nearly the hit with voters that he did with the Twitterati. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who plays an active role in Democrats’ Senate-candidate recruitment, hasn’t weighed in yet. But for those who believe he’s still mad that Fetterman complicated the 2016 race, or who have noticed how unlike the usual Schumer candidate Fetterman is, I was assured that the Senate leader is interested only in expanding his party’s margins in the Senate. “A lot of activists think the party would hold grudges,” one person familiar with Schumer’s thinking told me, asking for anonymity to avoid seeming to favor Fetterman. “The only thing that counts is who’s the best candidate to win in November.”

Could the bruiser look or the Sanders associations cost Fetterman the suburban votes he needs to once again win statewide? He pointed out that, in the 2018 race, after he knocked out incumbent Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack in the primary, he and Governor Tom Wolf won 400,000 more votes than Wolf and Stack had in 2014. Knit together enough energized progressives, committed Black voters, and party agnostics who feel unheard, and you have the formula for winning, Fetterman argues. Politicians should try to give people what they want, he said—and in Pennsylvania, he added, people want a higher minimum wage and legal marijuana.

“One of the most vile things ever said about Pennsylvania is that it’s Pittsburgh [to the west], Alabama in the middle, and Philadelphia [to the east]. It’s just gross and it’s not true,” Fetterman said. The state has much more in common than urban-versus-rural debates would suggest. “You know what we have in common? Cameron County, the smallest county in Pennsylvania, has a Dollar General store. Drive a mile up the street [from his home], and there’s a Dollar General store here. That is the giant common thread running between: That’s where people get their basic sundries, and they both pay the same shitty wages to the same folks that work there. And it just shouldn’t have to be that way.”

Give it a read and when you’re done, click here to donate and get involved with Fetterman’s campaign.

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