President Donald Trump on Thursday continued the delusion he has “a viable path to victory” and a second term. That isn’t stopping President-elect Joe Biden from building his team to take over the federal government on Jan. 20.
With some top spots already announced, Biden’s maneuvers are prompting all sorts of speculation about which tri-state locals might be heading to Washington for new jobs.
One of the country’s most prominent — secretary of state — could go to a leading Biden ally a state over in Delaware, Sen. Chris Coons.
Coons has signaled his interest, though he declined an interview.
“He would love to do it,” a person with knowledge of Coons’ feelings on the post said. “And it is certainly fair to say he is under consideration.”
Coons, a Democrat in the Senate seat Biden held for 36 years, was a lead surrogate for Biden during the presidential campaign. During the virtual Democratic National Convention, Coons nominated Biden on behalf of his home state.
Coons serves on the Foreign Relations Committee and has a relatively good relationship with Republicans, which could make getting Senate approval easier.
Another name circulating is David L. Cohen, whose fund-raising for Biden and background in local, state, and national politics could make him a contender for a post or ambassadorship. Cohen did not respond to a request for comment.
Clout hears former Rep. Patrick Murphy, an Iraq War veteran who served as acting secretary of the Army in 2016, is under consideration for that post again or for secretary for Veteran Affairs.
Murphy, who declined to comment, campaigned with Biden in Bucks County in the closing days of the campaign. Biden, speaking of the sacrifices made by U.S. military members, told the crowd, “Nobody knows that more than Patrick.”
Some are passing on consideration to keep their day jobs.
Sen. Bob Casey, Biden’s closest ally in Pennsylvania, said he wants to remain in the Senate.
“I love being in the Senate,” Casey told Clout. “If he wants me to do something, I’d be honored to talk to him about it, but I made it pretty clear, pretty early I want to help him in the Senate.”
Rep. Brendan Boyle, whose father immigrated to America from County Donegal in Ireland, campaigned with Biden on the Sunday before the election. “We owe Brendan,” Biden told the crowd that day, noting that Boyle was the first member of the U.S. House to endorse him.
The job of ambassador to Ireland is a popular post in any administration. But Clout hears Boyle, who just won a fourth term, likes serving on the Ways and Means Committee and is unlikely to leave his seat.
Clout can confirm one appointment — former Rep. Bob Brady has accepted the position of Friend of Joe. Brady, chairman of the Democratic Party in Philadelphia, describes the post as a plenipotentiary ambassador-arbitrator on call to help Biden in labor disputes.
Biden, in a national video message to supporters this week, described longtime allies who stuck with him as “a lot of Bobby Bradys out there.”
“That’s the only title I want,” Brady told Clout.
Mike Stack: From stand-up comedy to saving Stonehenge
Clout continues to be fascinated by the second act of former Lt. Gov. Mike Stack III. Last we heard, the Northeast Philly Democrat was out in Los Angeles working on stand-up comedy with the stage name Mikey Stacks and trying to get his acting career going.
Now he’s trying to save Stonehenge, the prehistoric stone monument in southern England.
Clout fans alerted us to social media posts of a two-minute public service announcement Stack recorded, decrying a controversial plan to build a tunnel near Stonehenge to reduce traffic noise from a nearby highway.
“The U.K. government will be in direct violation of international treaties to protect major archaeological sites,” Stack said in the video. “We are people from across the world. We stand up for humanity and our heritage.”
Stack, who urged viewers to sign a petition advocating cancellation of the tunnel, did not respond to a request for comment. Clout found examples of other aspiring actors recording similar videos, perhaps to bolster their “demo reels” for casting agents.
Quotable vs. Quotable
“I’ve been saying since Wednesday morning that Biden would win. And to my friends out there in WHP-580 listening audience and on Facebook and on Twitter, in my opinion there really are no bombshells that are about to drop that will derail a Biden presidency, including these lawsuits.”
— Republican attorney Marc Scaringi, speaking on the Saturday after the general election on his Harrisburg radio show.
“This simple exercise will determine whether Plaintiffs can prove their case – that sufficient illegal ballots were counted that changed the result of the election. If so, the Court should set aside these votes and declare Trump the winner.”
— Scaringi, in a federal court filing Wednesday with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, informing a judge they intend to use “statistical expert analysis” to locate alleged voter fraud. His proposed solution would toss out the votes of more than 6.8 million Pennsylvanians.