By John Baer
This is extra of a political stretch than a probability, however fashionable American politics teaches us that every one issues are potential.
And sure, U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr., Scranton-born hometown pal and ally of President-Elect Joe Biden, says he needs to remain in the Senate. But he additionally says if Biden gives an administration put up, he’d “be honored” to speak about it.
So it’s no less than price some political enjoyable to think about — simply in case being “honored” turns in to being employed — who Gov. Tom Wolf would select as Casey’s substitute. Because that’s the way it works: the governor fills a Senate emptiness.
Would Wolf look to make historical past by naming a Black, Latino or girl? Boost a political pal who needs to be a senator? Or decide a placeholder who gained’t search the job come subsequent election?
For starters, Wolf might identify himself, however that may by no means occur. He’s made clear his present workplace is his final. And I’m reliably advised he needs to stay in his 45-year marriage to spouse Frances. Which is to say, she wouldn’t prefer it.
An apparent decide is Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. He ran for Senate in the 2016 Democratic main (gained by Katie McGinty) and is predicted to run for Senate or governor in 2022.
Whoever Wolf would decide serves till the subsequent normal election in November 2021. The winner of that election serves out Casey’s time period by way of 2024.
But Fetterman may take a cross. He could possibly be leaning extra towards a run for governor. Still, there are Sheetz shops in the D.C. space. And actually Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a possible 2022 gubernatorial candidate himself, would fortunately assist Fetterman out with any transfer.
Or Wolf might faucet state Treasurer Joe Torsella.
The Berwick-born, Ivy-educated Rhodes scholar already has a senator-like resume, and a karmic case for his choice.
He’s a former U.S. Representative to the United Nations, a former president and CEO of the National Constitution Center and a former chairman of the state Board of Education.
Torsella narrowly misplaced reelection as Treasurer to Republican Stacy Garrity final month in a race all however invisible in comparison with the presidential race.
A case could possibly be made, with no disrespect to Garrity, that Torsella’s loss was on account of the state now not having straight-party voting. It went away as a part of 2019 laws backed and signed by Gov. Wolf giving us mail-in voting.
Did that harm down-ballot Dems? Well, in Torsella’s case, the drop-off between Biden and Torsella was greater than 200,000 votes. Torsella misplaced to Garrity by 52,500 votes. Would he have misplaced with straight-party voting? Maybe. Maybe not. And possibly the political fates will make his loss as much as him.
Meanwhile, the state by no means has had a lady senator, or a Black senator, or a Latino senator. Wolf might tilt in that course.
And if he leans to gender, you may suppose the aforementioned McGinty, who misplaced the 2016 Senate race to incumbent Republican Pat Toomey by simply 1.5% of the vote, could be a logical alternative. Don’t. She was briefly Wolf’s chief of employees. Didn’t work out. No reward is in the offing.
How about University of Pennsylvania Prez Amy Gutman? Pals with Biden. Great fundraiser. And whereas she takes some flak for her reported $3.6 million wage, she and her husband, Columbia University Prof Michael Doyle, donated $2 million this fall to Penn’s nursing college. There’s hypothesis Biden may ask her to serve in his cupboard. There was related hypothesis in 2016, if Hillary Clinton was elected.
Or Wolf might faucet Pedro Rivera, his former secretary of training, now president of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, who’s at present engaged on Biden’s transition crew.
Or Dwight Evans, a Philadelphia political drive, a former long-time state House energy, elected to Congress in 2016. Evans, who is Black, was amongst the first identify Democrats to endorse then-little-known Wolf for governor in 2014.
Of course, many others could possibly be thought-about. And, as famous, the probability of the want arising is, at greatest, slim.
Yet it’s nonetheless 2020. So nearly any political musing enters the realm of the potential.
John Baer could also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org