I don’t want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need.
I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree.
I just want another term for Rob Gleason as Chair of the PA GOP.
When I heard that Rob Gleason is seeking another term at the top of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, I was pretty ecstatic. If we want to take back the Governor’s mansion, some seats in the State Legislature, and maybe a Congressional district, an important step in that direction is letting the PA GOP shoot themselves in the foot and re-elect Rob Gleason.
Keegan Gibson at Politics PA gave a great birds-eye view of Chairman Gleason’s tenuous tenure:
Since he took the position in 2006, the GOP has had high ups and low downs. It’s 2010 cycle was phenomenal, after 2006 and 2008 cycles that were horrendous. The party finished 2012 with historic majorities in the state House and congressional delegation, but having lost every statewide office for the first time in decades, if ever.
Keegan gives a good summary, but Gleason’s poor win-loss percentage doesn’t fully capture the great potential a second Gleason term would hold for Democrats.
Here’s why I strongly support Mr. Gleason as PA GOP Chairman.
No, I’m not talking about his Leave it to Beaver, tax-exempt, and shale-shocked image of America. That’s a pretty typical view as far as PA Republicans go. Rather, I’m referring to his lack of calculus skills.
Remember back in August when the Romney campaign pulled their ads from Pennsylvania because their polling showed that we were no longer competitive? Across the state, polls were showing Romney down by 6, 7, 8, even 11 points.
As the cheerleader of the PA GOP, Gleason’s job was to keep a stiff upper lip and maintain the facade of victory, if only to try and buoy their statewide candidates.
Gleason, however, went further. As the election drew nearer, Gleason vested his full faith and credit in a Susquehanna Polling and Research poll that showed Romney down by a single point.
After pushing the results of the poll to the PA press on a conference call, Gleason expressed cavalier confidence in the poll, saying “I would not try to B.S. you on this.”
The poll turned out to be thick with B.S.
Then there’s the even more laughable October poll that showed Romney winning Pennsylvania by 4 percent, and Tom Smith leading Senator Casey by 2 percent.
After the results were released, Gleason sent out a fundraising email, proclaiming “[n]ot only have we closed the gap in Pennsylvania, but a new Susquehanna poll shows Governor Romney is now leading by 4 points – but more is needed! We must clinch this race for our Romney-Ryan team and lend them our 20 electoral votes. A Romney win in Pennsylvania and this race is over!”
In case you missed it, Romney and Smith didn’t do to well in the Keystone State.
The point is that Gleason, despite overwhelming evidence suggesting otherwise, seems to have actually thought that Mitt Romney would win PA, Tom Smith would sweep out Senator Casey, and that the row officers were up for grabs.
Gleason wasn’t cheerleading the players on the field–he was on the sideline guzzling Kool-Aid from the Gatorade cooler.
When you are on a campaign that will lose by more than just a few points, you know well in advance that loss is inevitable. You put on a smiling face, and keep going. But Gleason seems to have actually thought that November 7th would see a redder Pennsylvania, and he refused to re-allocate resources in accordance with reality.
Democrats were able to make historic gains in the State Senate and in the row offices because the PA GOP was intent on wasting manpower and money on the Romney and Smith campaigns.
This is a guy who actually opposed the clever GOP plan to strategically apportion PA’s electoral votes by Congressional district, because despite clear demographic and historic trends, Gleason thought (and still thinks) Pennsylvania is winnable by a GOP Presidential candidate.
Gleason’s strategic confusion coupled with his delusional misdirection of resources and energy is something that we Democrats can look forward to, should Gleason continue as chair.
He Thinks Governor Corbett is an Asset
As soon as the 2012 election cycle ended, Gleason signaled that his 2014 election strategy is going to be ideal for PA Democrats.
In a press statement, Gleason said that “[a]s a Party in Pennsylvania, we approach our next cycle in great position with a strong Republican Governor.”
Gleason seems to think that Governor Corbett makes a great face for the PA Republican Party, despite the obvious reality.
The most recent polling shows that as of November, Governor Corbett has a 40 percent approval rating and a 38 percent disapproval. This is compared to his 28 percent approval rating in an August according to a Franklin & Marshall poll. Corbett seems to have gained a temporary bump from his superb handling of Hurricane Sandy.
The next poll results we see will be taken after it has come out that the Governor accepted free vacations from his Marcellus Shale buddies.
That tends not to poll well.
Then, once Kathleen Kane starts investigating the Penn State scandal and Corbett’s role as Attorney General, Corbett’s numbers can only deteriorate.
Regardless, Rob Gleason seems intent on keeping Governor Corbett as the banner candidate in 2014.
This is exciting news, and it should give Democrats great hope in breaking the two-term Gubernatorial tradition that began in the 1970s with Milton Shapp.
He’s Terrible with Optics
Back in July, President Obama took a lot of undeserved flack when a comment he made about American business and taxation was taken out of context. The “you didn’t build that” comment was a desperate attack indeed.
One of the tools that Team Romney employed to create press over the comment was a series of Romney Bus Tours (there were multiple Romney buses, only one of which ever had Romney in it).
Their premier stop in Pennsylvania was headlined by Chairman Gleason at the Cambria County Courthouse. And who did Mr. Gleason choose as a business owner who built his business without any government help whatsoever?
Rex McQuaide of McQuaide, Inc., a trucking business. You know, as in trucks that drive on the roads. You know, roads that are built by, um, the government.
Gleason and McQuaide proceeded to claim that the government “never helped them with nothing.”
McQuaide, the trucking company owner, said that “small businessmen start from scratch … without expectation of help from government.”
Like, uh, roads?
Gleason added that “I don’t think we were getting 10 cents from the government.”
As if the obvious irony was not enough, Gleason failed to notice that he had directed the Romney Campaign Bus to park in the only handicap parking spot in the entire Courthouse.
The Romney bus was literally running over the rights of disabled Americans.
Go with Gleason
For the above reasons and more, it is with great enthusiasm that I announce my ardent support for Chairman Gleason’s next term at the helm of the PA GOP. He has been an excellent leader for the Democrats, and I really think he can lead us to victory for years to come.