The LuLac Edition #761, Mar. 20th, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: 1964 PHILLIES STARTING CATCHERS CLAY DALRYMPLE AND GUS TRIANDOS, KINGSTON MAYORAL CANDIDATE JOHN CORDORA WITH HIS CELEBRITY COUSIN JOE RANIELI OF BOCCI ALLEY FAME, SCRANTON MAYORAL ENDORSED CANDIDATE GARY DIBILEO, A CORDORA CAMPAIGN LOGO, SCRANTON MAYOR CHRIS DOHERTY AND OUR 1964 LOGO. (CLICK TO ENLARGE).
OBAMA ON TONIGHT
President Obama appeared on the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno on Thursday. Leading up to the appearance was a debate as to whether it was appropriate for the Chief Executive to be on the program. WILK’s Sue Henry said that she wasn’t for it because it devalued the office, making the President more about pop culture than leadership. Kevin Lynn on the other hand said that he felt the guest spot was appropriate because Obama after all, as President was “communicator in chief”. Me? I looked at it as a major coup for NBC and as an opportunity for the President to connect more with the people of the U.S. I watched the show and thought he did fine explaining his stance on bonuses and the entire AIG debacle. When he made his remarks about the Special Olympics and his bowling prowess though, I said to myself “What the hell were you thinking?” I have a disabled nephew who bowls every Saturday at Chacko’s as part of a special program for those individuals. I have to tell you that his remarks hit home. Then I thought about the appearance itself and how it should have been a positive factor for the President. Turns out the remark deluded the impact he was aiming for. And this is where we talk about the Presidency and entertainment. John Kennedy and Richard Nixon appeared on Jack Paar before they became President. Nixon on Carson and Merv Griffen too in the 60s. Bill Clinton played his sax on Arsenio Hall too as a candidate. But after they became President, they set boundaries. I think President Obama was right for breaking those ties between leadership and entertainment. But the sad thing was the guy, usually right on message, forgot where he was and what his role encompassed. Obama would’ve been fine if he had just stopped short of the bowling question. But he felt compelled to give a smart ass, self deprecating remark that diminished him. A simple, “I stink at bowling….still” would’ve sufficed. But oh our politicians love their analogies. Sometimes simple answers, not bringing on board another party are the best way to go. The President needs to remember that he is the President and there has to be a certain reserve and line of demarcation. Yukking it up at the expense of disabled people did not serve him well. All that said, it was refreshing to hear that the President profusely apologized to the head of the Special Olympics. Having had a President for the past eight years who apologized to no one, this was a breath of fresh air. But to prevent further angst, President Obama should temper his self deprecation and limit it to his own person.
Went to John Cordora’s rally last night at the Kingston American Legion Hall. More than 100 friends and supporters attended the event. The candidate made the rounds and welcomed his guests with enthusiasm that will serve him well on the campaign trail. The candidate recalled for the crowd how his interest in politics began. Cordora said that 1964 was a watershed year for him as he supported Barry Goldwater for President. He alluded to Goldwater’s stance on the Vietnam War which had many in the hall nodding in agreement. The candidate described himself as a Ronald Reagan Republican. Cordora made some interesting campaign comments saying that it would only take one term as Mayor in Kingston to turn things around. He commented that 12 years under the Haggerty administration has not improved the crime situation. The candidate said that the Mayor hardly interacts with the police force, leaving it to the Borough administrator, wondered why there wasn’t a great presence of police in crime areas and asked what crime prevention solutions were being probed. Cordora also hit the Haggerty administration for refusing to make public crime statistics in the borough available to residents and the news media. His speech was met with thunderous applause and it looked to me that the kick off was a success. Cordora also promised to visit 6,000 homes in 60 days in his attempt to wrest the nomination from Haggerty.
THIS AND THAT
Two Judicial candidates made the rounds during the rally. Attorney C.J. Bufalino of Dallas worked the room like a political pro connecting with the citizens in attendance………..Attorney Thomas Marsillio wearing a snappy red vest also stopped by to meet and greet the crowd. Marsillio is from Mountaintop…..GOP Prothonotary aspirant Walter Mitchell stopped by and went from table to table……Democratic Jury Commissioner candidate Jerry Bonner was in attendance…..Running mates of Cordora for Kingston Council were there, Drew Klinges, Howard Specht, and Mike Jacobs all making brief remarks....Pizza and light refreshments were served….and many attending were very glad to meet radio host Joe Ranieli, he of “Bocci Alley” fame. Ranieli is a cousin of the candidate but also had a huge contingent of fans surrounding him at the event.
In Scranton heads were turned last evening when news came that the Democratic Committee was going to give their endorsement for Mayor to Gary DiBileo. By all accounts this was a surprise but what was even more surprising was the fact that Chris Phillips, a school director who had contemplated a run for mayor, called the endorsement “unexpected.” But it was reported by the Scranton Times that Phillips wasn’t at the meeting. Phillips said Mr. DiBileo called him Thursday about the endorsement. On the Sue Henry show today, DiBileo said the endorsement was going to help him spread his message. DiBileo said that he aimed to get rid of the distressed city label as Mayor and end pay to play in Scranton city government. The candidate pointed out that after 17 years, Scranton still had the distressed city label. But Scranton, according to many observers has done an about face on touting its image as the hippest place to be in NEPA. Reports we have said that DiBileo had 19 votes to Doherty’s 11. On the Steve Corbett Show this afternoon, Mayor Doherty said, “It wasn’t a surprise, when you make tough decisions you disenfranchise people. The Democratic Committee is about politics, my job is to be Mayor of all the people working with Republicans and Democrats. I sensed that I wasn’t going to get the endorsement because of tough choices I made. I got into this because of my 6 kids and 10 brothers and sisters. You have to work with both sides, no matter who’s below me or on top. We will do the same things we’ve been doing campaign wise the last few years. I have a record to run on and it’s a pretty good record. I don’t think any Mayor in the state would shy away from a record like this”. Political consultant Ed Mitchell who ran Doherty’s campaigns in 2001, (both primary and general) and that nail biter primary in 2005 told us that “a candidate would rather have an endorsement. But candidates he’s worked for have actually won without an endorsement. The Mayor has a major money advantage and I wouldn’t count him out of this”.
Scranton Mayoral politics has always had an element of intrigue. After Gene Peters won his last term in 1973, Scranton went through a period where the city changed Mayors every four years starting with Eugene Hickey, Jim McNulty, and David Wenzel. Jimmy Connors and Chris Doherty broke that streak by winning multiple terms but Connors did it as a Democrat turned Republican. Mitchell’s point about the power of endorsement rings especially true in Scranton politics. In 1977, the late Ed Hughes had the GOP endorsement only to be turned back by Reverand Vernon Searfoss. However that was over 30 years ago. It seems to me that this election will be the rubber match between DiBelio and Doherty, kind of like a political Frasier/Ali contest. It will also pit the patrician like Doherty (who’s dad James served with distinction on Scranton City Council for years in the 60s and 70s) and the lunch pail candidate Dibelio in a cultural class warfare race that will forever change the face of Scranton. It’s like Clarence Rutherford vs. Wally Cleaver. We’ll see who Scranton will pick.
In a horrible incident still resonating after 45 years, 38 of her neighbors in Queens, New York City fail to respond to the cries of Kitty Genovese, 28, as she is being stabbed to death………….A Dallas, Texas jury finds Jack Ruby guilty of killing John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald……statewide, Scranton Mayor William Schmidt told a Princton, New Jersey audience of Young Republicans that he believed Governor Bill Scranton would jump into the GOP Presidential race if drafted. Schmidt was one of three speakers touting the efforts of Scranton, Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater. Peppered by students carrying Goldwater signs, the Scranton Mayor called the Governor “a man of political courage, stating he was not in attendance to launch a Scranton for President campaign”……….Phillies Manager Gene Mauch announces he will use two catchers this season in a platoon rotation naming left handed hitting Clay Dalrymple and right handed slugger Gus Triandos……in Wilkes Barre, despite snow in heavy watershed areas and a lot of rainfall, flood forecasters say there is no immediate danger of flooding from the Susquehanna River……there are reports that Warner’s Slimwear Lingerie Company on Market Street in Kingston might be closing its doors laying off more than 120 workers and 45 years ago today, the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was by the Beatles who returned to the top chart position with “Please Please Me” which was released on the VeeJay label.