If Vice President Joe Biden, ex-U.S. Senator from Delaware who keeps working his Scranton roots, could call himself "Pennsylvania's third senator," can ex-US House Speaker turned political entrepreneurNewt Gingrich, raised near Harrisburg, bearer of a characteristic Pennsylvania German name, and recently converted to the Catholic Church millions of Pennsylvanians cling to, count the Keystone State as a home power base?
Not among the party's Philadelphia moneymen, says John Soroko, chairman at law firm Duane Morris and a confidante of successful Republicans like US Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., for whome he's helping pick federal judges.
"This is not a Gingrich town," whatever Gingrich's cousins and ex-schoolmates may conjure upstate, Soroko told me this morning, after reviewing the items I wrote on the Pennsylvania Society events in New York ("Your column captured it well... Ma and Pa Kettle go to the big city.")
Soroko, whose firm also includes Democrats (like David Landau, the Delco party chief) and fundraisers known to back people from both sides (Alan Kessler), hasn't yet committed himself in the GOP presidential race.
As I've noted elsewhere, other Philadelphia Republican donors like apartment mogul Mitch Morgan are on board with Mitt Romney, who they consider the most realistic of the early GOP contenders to win moderate East Coast voters, even though he's been relentlessly unable to pull away from the early pack.
Despite the apparent Republican confusion, Soroko is still confident of toppling Obama in November's vote. He takes special hope from the election to fill disgraced marital cheater US Rep. Anthony Weiner D-NY's formerly safe Democratic seat, in which Irish-Catholic Republican Bob Turner won Jewish voter backing to beat a Jewish Democratic opponent.
It's a sign that whichever Republican emerges for President will likewise snag disillusioned Obama voters, Soroko concludes. Plus, "with competition, you always get a superior product."  #PAsociety