Monday, September 08, 2003

Katz gains momentum
RINO Republican mayoral candidate Sam Katz has earned the endorsement of a 60,000-strong Teamsters union in his fight to unseat Democratic incumbent John Street this fall in Philadelphia. With two major unions now backing him, the possibility of a Katz upset can't be ignored. While his social positions are generally quite liberal (they have to be to in Philly), Democrats should not shrug off Katz's election as an aberration. While Street may be a flawed mayor, the city hasn't exactly collapsed under his stewardship. In fact, considering the shape the economy is in, things in Philadelphia look positively rosy. The bigger trouble with Katz is the effect his election might have on the 2004 presidential race.

To win Pennsylvania, the Democrats have to get out the vote in Philadelphia, as Dick Cheney might say, big-time. There is no substitute for a Democratic mayor spending election week drumming up the vote. And in a city with a huge African-American vote, having a Democratic, African-American mayor is infinitely preferable to a white Republican when it comes time to go door-to-door. Because while Katz may not close abortion clinics, you can bet Bill Bennett's blackjack earnings that he won't be campaigning for Howard Dean or Wesley Clark. He'll be stumping for Bush. There is no scenario that I can think of where the Democrats win the presidency without Pennsylvania. Not a single one.

So come election day, despite my reservations, I'll be pulling the lever for Street.

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