WITH THE GOP presidential field narrowing, speculation will soon turn to the No. 2 spot on the ticket. Could Gov. Corbett be on the short list for vice president?
Grover Norquist certainly thinks so. Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, best known for the no-new-taxes pledges he urges pols to sign, tweeted three weeks ago that Corbett could be a "possible VP now or prez in 2016, 2020." Corbett signed the pledge last year.
Norquist yesterday told us his advocacy for Corbett is "completely unsolicited" and that the governor has not expressed an interest in running for veep.
He added that Corbett looks within striking distance of a win on an issue of deep importance to social conservatives: School-choice vouchers that would allow public-school money to be spent on private-school tuition.
"When I talk to people, I certainly list him as one of the guys who would be a strong addition to the ticket," Norquist told us when we asked if he had mentioned Corbett to any presidential candidates.
There are at least three potential games afoot when the VP short list comes up. A presidential candidate could see Corbett, governor of a key swing-state, as critical to winning Pennsylvania's 20 Electoral College votes. Or Corbett's allies could be floating his name to see if any presidential candidates are interested.
Or Corbett's friends could just be trying to boost his name on the national stage without any real hope or interest in a VP bid.
Brian Nutt, Corbett's campaign manager last year and still a political adviser, noted that Norquist was in Harrisburg three weeks ago to attend the annual Gridiron Dinner with Corbett. Nutt noted that Corbett has not endorsed any presidential candidate and that Norquist could lay the same VP talk on GOP governors of other key states - Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin.
Charles Kopp, chairman of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and a fundraiser for Corbett's campaign last year, said Norquist probably hopes the governor goes "on to further heights" in politics.
"But I don't think Corbett is looking for it," Kopp said. "However, I think Corbett would be an excellent candidate for vice president."
Conventional wisdom puts Romney at the front of the pack, after U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Texas Gov. Rick Perry enjoyed all-too-brief campaign surges. Businessman Herman Cain of Georgia is currently enjoying such a surge, but problems with his campaign infrastructure and mismanaged messages threaten to derail him.
There's still more than a week to go until the Nov. 8 election, but that doesn't mean some folks haven't already started thinking about the next one.
Clout has heard that City Councilman Bill Green last week started publicly discussing ideas that could serve as a platform for a widely expected run for mayor in 2015.
Green spoke at the North Philadelphia Candidates Forum on Wednesday, and to members of the 43rd, 55th, 57th and 63rd wards last week. Green was careful not to officially declare, choosing instead to discuss what he would do "if" and "when" he decided to run. When asked yesterday about the speeches, Green said: "When I run for mayor, I'll resign."
"He made an excellent presentation for his vision for the future of the city," said Robert Dellavella, leader of Mayfair's 55th Ward.
Dellavella said Green's speech "involved a lot of bold ideas that he said would upset a lot of stakeholders" in the school district and other city agencies. "We had about 50 people here. A lot of them came up to me afterwards and said, 'Wow.' They were impressed," he said.
"I do not like raccoons."
- Mayor Nutter , when Council held a hearing on raccoon-control measures.