Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Meakem factor - PittsburghLIVE.com

The Meakem factor - PittsburghLIVE.com: "The Meakem factor

Sunday, July 24, 2005
Indeed, it's early in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race. But already there's been a sea change in this young sweepstakes: Former GOP Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton has named FreeMarkets founder Glen Meakem as his campaign chairman.
Mr. Meakem is the uber-successful Pittsburgh entrepreneur who himself would make a great governor. Instead, he has "entered" the race -- by proxy, if you will -- at a level of double import:

The Meakem appointment fires a red-hot cannonball across the bow of the eastern Pennsylvania GOP moneybags who appear to be all too willing to make next year's election a sacrificial affair because of their business dealings with Democrat Gov. Ed Rendell's administration.

Meakem is very influential -- not just in conservative circles but in coteries of common sense. And with good reason. He understands how markets work; he detests the liberal machinations that have damaged Pennsylvania's economy. Aligning with Mr. Scranton should foster significant financial support against a very well-financed incumbent.

Conventional wisdom has it that Mr. Rendell will be hard to beat. But Rendell is not invincible. His poll numbers are sagging. Rendell is vulnerable.

The sooner the state Republican apparatus can catch up with Messrs. Scranton and Meakem and embrace this reality, the sooner Ed Rendell's political obituary can be effected."

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