Monday, October 13, 2008

The City Is Electric

Once again, Scranton is in the forefront of the presidential campaign news. This time it was a visit from the Biden and the Clinton families, making a joint appearance in support of the Obama/Biden ticket.

As the Allentown Morning Call observes, in Now, more than ever, it's the Electric City:

''The last time I saw this kind of action was John F. Kennedy,'' said Jim Kennedy, a district judge who palled around with Biden as a kid and often popped into Hank's for a hoagie with the future Democratic vice presidential candidate.

Kennedy remembers a crowd of 200,000 gathered in Scranton to welcome JFK in 1960, cramming sidewalks and leaning out of apartment windows to get a glimpse of the Democratic presidential candidate. ''That's the last time in our lifetime that it's been like this,'' he said.

To many Scrantonians, this city has always been the political epicenter, welcoming the periodic homecomings of Clinton and Biden with a fanfare that left few here unaware of the lawmakers' area roots. This year, the way many here see it, the rest of the country has simply caught on.

''The media has always been a little slow on the draw,'' chuckled Evie McNulty, the recorder of deeds for Lackawanna County. ''We've always been the center of the universe.''

* * * *
This year's Scranton hoopla is a storm that's been in the making for years, assisted by a political pedigree unusual for a city of 75,000. Among its politically famous native sons: ex-Republican Gov. Bill Scranton, who ran for president in 1964; ex-Gov. Robert Casey Sr.; and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., whose rise was cemented with his 2006 election.
Joe Biden, the "Scranton boy, done good," as Obama referred to him after the last debate, and Hillary Clinton, along with the former President, took the stage in Scranton, where "the two former rivals in the Democratic primary made the case for Barack Obama in a region of the state where he got creamed by Sen Clinton by more than 50 points on April 22nd." See Scranton Style: Bill, Biden, and Hillary Woo the Working Class.

The Clintons were in town for the christening of Hillary's nephew at the family Church up the street from my home. Another Clinton homecoming for Scranton. Too bad my snowbird parents are already in Florida or they could have walked up the block to see them. My mother especially was a huge Clinton fan & is one of the Hillary supporters that the campaign is trying to sway to Obama.

The Morning Call reports on the visit, Scranton is new hotbed:
U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden made a triumphant homecoming to this hard-scrabble coal mining city on Sunday, where they laid blame for the nation's worsening economic woes at the feet of Republican nominee John McCain and exhorted their supporters to work hard until Election Day.

Making a direct appeal to the blue-collar voters who eluded Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama in the state's hard-fought April primary, Clinton, Biden and former President Bill Clinton, warned of continued economic hardship for the middle class if McCain captures the White House on Election Day.

''All across Pennsylvania, folks are trying to figure out what all this tough economic news means for them and their families,'' said Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee who spent the first 10 years of his life in this city's Green Ridge neighborhood. ''For too many American families, the economy didn't start collapsing a year ago Â… it started collapsing eight years ago.''

Working families, Biden told a crowd of roughly 6,000 supporters at an indoor soccer complex here, were asking themselves ''questions that are as simple as they are profound.'
See also, Dream team of heavyweight Democrats in Scranton pushing support of Obama.

And I missed that Scranton was recently featured on the Today Show, as part of it's feature of battleground states:

The former mayor of Scranton, Jim McNulty, has started a website about the city's political juice, Scranton: The Election City.


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