Gov.-elect Tom Wolf pulverized Gov. Tom Corbett, R-Drillers, on Tuesday, but come January, he will be dealing with a legislature even more Republican than it is today.
As Times-Shamrock Harrisburg Bureau Chief R.B. Swift writes in today’s Times-Tribune, the same voters who delivered Mr. Wolf a landslide victory also gave Republicans “a 10-seat majority in the Senate once again and put the House Republican majority at a peak not seen since 1957.”
The early consensus seems to be that Mr. Wolf, a self-described “Progressive Democrat,” is likely to struggle trying to get his agenda (if he has one) over the Big Red Wall. They may be right, but the two terms of former Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Shrek, suggest otherwise. Big Ed was a pro-business Democrat, and while GOP lawmakers would never embrace him in public, he wooed them with ease behind closed doors.
If Republicans really wanted to deny Mr. Rendell a second term, they never would have nominated Lynn Swann in 2006. “Swanny” is a Hall-of-Famer and one of my most beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, but he had no business running for governor and no chance of winning. GOP lawmakers were OK with Mr. Rendell because he was a shameless horse-trader who understood that political progress doesn’t require compromised ideals, but a compromise between those who hold those ideals.
Give me this, and I’ll give you that. It’s how things get done.
This concept was clearly too much for Mr. Corbett, who couldn’t get his own party to work with him. If Mr. Wolf wants to hit the ground running, he should consult Mr. Rendell ASAP.