January 5, 2006

Swann Dive

Hatched by Dafydd

The great news out of Pennsylvania today is that football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann has announced, as widely anticipated, that he will run for the governorship of that state, diving into the race to challenge Democratic incumbent Ed Rendell.

Swann, who played for the Steelers for nine years, helping them win four Super Bowls, hasn't opened up much about his political philosophy; but he has dropped some hints:

Swann has so far revealed little about his political philosophy or the initiatives he would pursue as governor. He has advocated reducing certain business taxes and said he opposes abortion rights.

I think it safe to say he's a Republican more aligned with Rick Santorum than with Lincoln Chafee.

And speaking of Sen. Santorum (R-Endangered Species List), I can't help but think that if Swann gets the nomination, his candidacy will help Santorum, who faces the electoral fight of his career this November. Swann is a very attractive candidate: he's exciting, he is doubtless beloved in Pennsylvania, and if elected, he would be the very first black governor in that state's history -- all of which should draw a lot of folks into the race to vote for him who ordinarily would not be voting at all, or would be voting for the Democrat... just as California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger did in 2003. And if Swann campaigns with Santorum by his side, as I'm sure he will (assuming he survives the primary -- if there is one), some of that luster could fall upon Santorum, perhaps giving him just enough juice to defeat state treasurer Bob Casey, jr, the moderate, pro-life Democrat who is also the son of two-term, popular former Governor Bob Casey, sr.

Frankly, I would love to see the PA GOP endorse Swann over Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton III. It would probably avoid a primary fight and allow Swann to focus his campaign on the Democrat, rather than fellow Republicans. A quick glance at the two campaign-website photos should tell you everything you need to know about which candidate would run the most energetic campaign:

Lynn Swann

Bill Scranton III

Candidates Lynn Swann (top) and Bill Scranton III (bottom)

In any event, Swann's entry into this race will energize the Republicans and give Pennsylvanians something to talk about other than whether Rick Santorum is too conservative for the Keystone State.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 5, 2006, at the time of 7:25 PM

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