Seems like everybody slept on Patrick Kerkstra’s big profile of Rob McCord back in December, but now that Joe Sestak’s out of the invisible primary you really ought to take a look at McCord. I like him for all the reasons I like Bill Peduto – he’s creative, optimistic and interested in evidence-based policy, but he also checkboxes all the issue positions rank and file Democratic voters care about, and the fact that he’s already won a statewide election should give him credibility with the campaign professional set:
What makes this establishment enthusiasm for McCord so interesting is the fact that he in no way resembles gubernatorial candidates of the past. Pennsylvanians tend to be traditionalists when it comes to their elected leaders. Governors Corbett and Rendell are both redolent of the 20th century, with old-fashioned political résumés and brands (Rendell the charismatic operator, Corbett the sober uncle). So were Dan Onorato (a longtime lawyer and pol) and Lynn Swann (the ex-athlete trope).
McCord, though, is a thoroughly modern politician. He’s run a think tank and a series of investment funds. He’s considered a critical early leader in the development of the region’s tech industry. He has an African-American wife. And he entered politics late in life, meaning he has ascended without the benefit—or baggage—of a machine to call his own.
All of which makes him one of the most intriguing figures to appear on Pennsylvania’s political stage in some time. Can a candidate as novel and contemporary as McCord win in a state this conventional? He seems sure to test that question. But when?