Having worked in politics for a few years now, I’ve grown accustomed to saying that the very best way to get elected is to already be elected.
And that’s been true for a long time — just look at how old and practically tenured so many members of our current Congress are.
As Politico so correctly pointed out with their top story today, words like “clout, establishment, and incumbent” no longer carry positive connotations in the minds of voters. Two prolific appropriators — a word given to legislators on either of Congress’s appropriations committees who hold heavy sway over where money is directed — were taken out by the members of their respective parties within the last week.
Senator Bob Bennett and Congressman Alan Mollohan have been granted “former” status, leaving establishment candidates across the country reeling — each wondering if they too could be the next anti-Washington, anti-government casualty.
What will be most interesting will be the outcome of the looming Pennsylvania Democratic primary, in which Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat Senator Arlen Specter, a man some consider the epitome of the self-preservationist legislator, will face-off against the hard-charging Rep. Joe Sestak. It’s funny to think that Sestak, a two-term Congressman, can actually be viewed as the non-establishment candidate in the race, since Specter has been in office since… 1966, when gas was $.32 cents/gallon.
I honestly think Pat Toomey can beat either one of them, but that’s been covered already.