“If Sen. Bob Casey had a superpower, it would be invisibility.” Bryan Preston, blogging on the PJ Tatler site has little use for the sitting Senator. He writes: “Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) won his seat in the US Senate because of his last name: Casey is a revered name in his home state of Pennsylvania. The current Sen. Casey did nothing to gold-plate the family name, though. It comes from his late father Robert, the outspokenly pro-life Democrat who was governor from 1987 to 1995… Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr., seldom seen, rarely heard…[is] back in the news… because it’s an election year. Invisible and ineffective, while Pennsylvania’s coal industry suffers under Obama’s onerous EPA regulations, where has Casey been?…the allegedly pro-life senator did cast one important vote. He helped pass ObamaCare with its job-killing regulations and its conscience-violating abortifacient mandate.” Unfortunately for Tom Smith, Casey’s conservative challenger for the US Senate in Pennsylvania, Casey Sr. made the name a winning name and it will be tough getting past such a fine name. Many know that I too share the same name as a famous person – the Notre Dame Football coach. I am Brian Kelly for sure and I do have a winning name but just like Bob Casey Jr. is not Bob Casey Sr., I am not the famous ND coach.
The late Robert Casey Sr. is recognized by most Pennsylvanians and many Americans as a good man and a very fine past Governor of Pennsylvania. Robert Casey Jr. in his own right is also very well known but not as well known as his father. He too may be a good man, but not from my perspective. Casey Jr. has not been a good Senator for Pennsylvanians. If he were representing the interests of California or Nevada, Casey Jr. might be OK for them. He is just not good for US and he is not good for conservative values.
Nobody would suggest that Robert P. Casey Jr. is good for nothing because he is a very good friend for Barack Obama. When Casey takes the time on occasion to emerge from Obama’s pocket, he represents Obama and the interests of left wing progressives in the Democratic Party better than any sitting US Senator. Unfortunately, he does not do the same for the working class people of Pennsylvania.
Bob Casey Jr. comes from a fine family and his name alone can get people elected. When I actively ran against Bob Casey Jr. for US Senator in April 2012, I knew that I faced an immense uphill battle just to prove to Pennsylvanians that I was worthy to challenge the revered Casey name. So, I knew I had to learn a lot about Senator Casey.
The word on the Pennsylvania streets is that because the Bob Casey name has been out there since the 1960’s when his dad wore the name so well, in 2006, Casey was a lock-in for the Democratic nomination for US Senator. They say the same thing now about the general election in his battle against challenger Tom Smith. Casey already has a huge campaign horde of cash ready to pounce on Tom Smith as the election gets closer. The largest donors to the Casey campaign are lawyers so that tells us something about the Senator. With so much cash, Casey has a good shot at winning in the general election but Tom Smith is no slouch and he is closing the gap quickly.
Because the Democrats and the sitting Senator have no shame, in election ads for Casey’s candidacy, we can expect to see an image of Bob Casey Jr. that we have never seen in PA neighborhoods. We still may not see the Senator in live action and we may not hear the Senator speak other than to acknowledge that he paid for an ad in which he is portrayed as a hero and therefore he approves its message. Communicating with the public has not been one of Casey’s strong suits.
Get your crying towels out for you will need them. Bob Casey Jr. is a Democrat and he has access to the entire suite of tear-jerking propaganda that Barack Obama has created for his own campaign. Expect to see Casey exploiting the Obama campaign for whatever it can provide, and the result will be ads in the media that make Casey look like a popular hero of the people. Ask yourself if Casey is a real hero.
The Senator’s team will find some wonderful Pennsylvanians with great stories about individual actions taken by Casey on their behalf. Somebody will be found to say that without Bob Casey, they would have been left in the lurch by the government. All of us can relate to that since Government does not serve many of us well.
I am not questioning the sincerity of the ordinary citizens in the ads we will see. They are in need of help for sure. However, local social services agency personnel should be the ones offering help, not a solitary US Senator in a Superman uniform at election time. If the Casey and Obama government needs a sitting Senator to get around the rules of their administration one person at a time, maybe the government policies are not right. Where did these bad policies come from? They were not wired in from Red China. The Senator and his cohorts created these policies. Let us not forget that.
Ironically with a very popular family, a lifetime in politics, first at the state level and then six years in Washington, most Pennsylvanians still are unaware who the real Bob Casey actually is. In an early campaign survey, I was surprised at the approval ratings on Casey. The most shocking revelation for me was that one third of Pennsylvanians had not even heard of their Senior Senator. As more people learn how closely he is aligned with Barack Obama, and some of his connections to devious past dealings in PA state politics, I would expect his approval rating to drop even further.
Taking out the “unknown” factor, after six years, Senator Casey’s approval numbers simply do not set the world on fire. Casey got good marks by 32% of the voters while 37% did not approve. Amazingly, and I have to repeat this— almost a third of the electorate did not have any opinion of the man. Because he is not known and is not out among the regular people very often, there have been a number of people who suggested that his overall campaign tactic is “anonymity.”
I do wonder whether those taking the polls really know that the Senator is Bob Casey, Jr., and not his late dad, the former governor. You can bet a portion of those in the approval and disapproval columns are not very familiar with the Senator. Most do not even know what the Senator looks like. “Where’s Waldo,” may be fun to joke about, but “Where’s Bob Casey?” is not a very good campaign slogan. New monikers such as the “Unknown Senator” or “Senator Zero,” or “the Anonymous Senator,” can make Casey’s bid for reelection even more difficult.
Though he may not be such a good Senator, Casey knows how to use the PR channels in his office to make it appear that he is very active and doing his job. Casey has sponsored 324 bills since April 2007, yet not one has become law. When the Tom Smith camp looked at this dismal record with zero success, they aptly labeled Casey as “Senator Zero.”
The Smith campaign suggests that “For more than five and half years, Bob Casey Jr. has done nothing to address a dismal economy and stagnant unemployment…While Pennsylvanians have suffered, Senator Casey has failed to offer a single solution, and failed to pass a single piece of legislation into law.”
This analysis appears to be 100% accurate. Casey lives about twenty miles from where I live and I know that a number of people who personally helped his dad are not at all pleased with the performance of the “Unknown Senator,” especially after he compromised his pro-life stance with his vote for Obamacare.
Unless you really study the facts, you might conclude that Casey is a diligent senator. Maybe he just can’t seem to find a winning bill, or perhaps it is all a ruse. Perhaps he co-sponsors legislation just to puff up his record. Clearly Casey is an Obama guy and has voted 95 to 98 percent of the time with President Obama. He has no problem taking cash from attorneys and lobbyists, and now it appears that he has been introducing legislation for campaign purposes rather than to help Pennsylvanians.
For example the Smith campaign discovered that Casey has sponsored 199 bills so far in this election cycle, but he sponsored only 125 in his first 4 years. And none, in almost six years have passed.
It may be OK to be anonymous if your job is not to represent the entire state of Pennsylvania in the US Senate. Most voters like there to be a face behind a name. Better yet, there should be a real person behind a name, no matter how good that name may be. This Senator has been less visible than a stealth bomber in his six years in the Senate.
When I was actively running for the US Senate, my personal entreaties to the Senator for a debate were left unanswered. He wasn’t there when I called. He wasn’t there when I mailed him and he wasn’t there when I emailed him. He just wasn’t there. Having gotten the notion from Newt Gingrich, my campaign invited Senator Casey to a series of modified Lincoln / Douglas style debates at the Barney Inn in Wilkes-Barre, PA. This is a town much like Scranton and just down Route 81 from the Senator’s hometown.
The Senator has proven in the past that he does not like the idea of regular people attempting to achieve elected office. He proved it again to me when he ignored my request to debate. He did not even have the common courtesy to reply to my invitation. Perhaps he was busy hiding. He is currently hiding again from having to debate Tom Smith so I can now see that Casey’s ignoring me was not personal. If he is reelected, this Senator will surely conclude that hiding is an effective campaign strategy? It is up to the people to never let Casey come to that conclusion.
A number of analysts have looked at the Casey numbers and they have found them to be deceptively weak. There is a cost to hiding from the people. Even among Democrats, there has been little enthusiasm for the bland, milk-toast demeanor of this apparently disinterested Senator. The barometer for a Senator, who is well liked by the public, is more often in the 70-80% approval range with voters of his own Party. The all-absorbing Obama connection is more than likely one of the elements that keeps Casey down in the polls. But, some suggest it actually keeps him higher than he otherwise would be.
Not being a known commodity in your own neighborhood may be even more crippling for the Senator than anything else.
Casey has been identified as the # 1 Obama water carrier and the best front man for the President in the Senate. As people become aware of this, I predict that they will move him from the “unknown” column in the surveys to the “disapprove” column. Casey recently seems to be trying to separate himself from Obama so he can get another six year term before he re-affirms his strong friendship with the President. Pennsylvanians have long memories.
Bob Casey Sr. is a different story than Casey Jr. He even gave up a tryout for the Phillies to further his education. Can you imagine Casey at the bat as your campaign slogan? Yet, Casey Sr., a tremendous athlete, never made this athletic prowess a campaign item, though it would have helped. Ultimately Casey Sr. prevailed as governor of PA. Who could beat a Casey at the bat theme? Casey Sr. was a man with deep convictions, and he created a great name in Pennsylvania. In Bob Jr., however, more and more Pennsylvanians suggest the apple landed far enough from the tree that the only similarity is the name. Can Casey Jr. get elected just because he bears the same name as his great dad? I don’t think so.
I was very concerned about running for the US Senate against the fine Casey name but I welcomed the opportunity. I wish that I had been able to make the Senate ballot cutoff here in PA. In my own campaign, I knew it was necessary that every Pennsylvanian know that Senator Robert Casey Jr. is not the man behind the great Casey name. I am not picking on the current Senator or the family here. However, I think it would be fairer to all candidates in this election for the people to know that Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. is not former Governor Robert P. Casey, Sr. who passed away on May 30, 2000 after a fine public service career.
The Senator is the former Governor’s oldest son. Unlike some outright frauds that have come by over the years with the name Bob Casey, and who have actually been elected to PA’s higher state offices, the Senator and the former Governor are in the same immediate family but the one is not the other.
As previously noted, people have gotten elected in Pennsylvania merely by using the Casey name. I have never forgotten when a young Bob Casey Sr. was not permitted to run for another term as Auditor General of Pennsylvania due to term limits. At that time, Casey Sr. chose not to seek the office of State Treasurer, a job which ironically Casey Jr. held just before being elected senator.
Just because Bob Casey Sr. chose not to run for State Treasurer in 1976 did not mean that the name Bob Casey would not be on the Democratic ticket. In 1976, in what could have been a spoof planned by some anarchists or the writers of Saturday Night Live, a PA county official, whose name happened to be Robert Casey, handily won the Democratic Primary and this same guy won the general election for PA State Treasurer. Casey is a powerful name. This particular Casey was not even related to Casey Sr. and he spent zero money and did no campaigning. Still he won. Let me repeat: Casey is that powerful a name in Pennsylvania.
PA voters naturally believed when they saw the vaunted Robert Casey name on the ballot, that the former Auditor General had changed his mind. They assumed they were voting for the outgoing Casey Sr.
The Democrats did not complain at all since like all of the Casey’s, the new Treasurer was a Democrat. The Republicans, however, felt like they needed to call in Ghostbusters so that such identity theft (before it was even a crime) could not ever happen again in the future. In 1980, a few years before perfecting all his tools, Bill Murray, as the parapsychologist in charge, used his special wand (not a Proton Pack as many suspected) to help the Republicans discover and prove that this “Casey wasn’t Casey.”
In 1980, with the Ghostbusters evidence before them, the people of Pennsylvania, knowing we had been squeezed once too much, chose not to bring back the “fraud Casey” for a second term, but instead we voted for Budd Dwyer as State Treasurer. Later, in 1986, after a few mis-tries, Robert Casey Sr. was finally elected governor. He served until 1995. Casey Sr. was a great governor. With Pennsylvanians so acutely aware that the name game could be used against US, it is highly unlikely that there will ever be another fake Bob Casey out there. So, a Ghostbusters II should not be necessary.
My point in going over the power of a name is that a name does not really bring with it the person that you might expect. Just as I am not Brian Kelly from Notre Dame, Robert P. Casey Jr. is not Robert P. Casey, Sr., and there are worlds of difference between the records of the two men.
More and more Pennsylvanians are becoming aware that Senator Casey has an outstanding attendance record in the US Senate. That, unfortunately is his greatest accomplishment as a Senator. For a guy who was there just about every day, most are surprised that he has no accomplishments of his own of which to speak.
Tom Smith should have confidence that Bob Casey Jr. is not going to persuade the people of Pennsylvania to vote for an unknown senator who comes to life only at election time. One thing for sure, Casey’s best friend in Washington, President Obama, is not a friend of Pennsylvania, no matter how good a name his friend Casey may bring to the table. Check Casey’s record and check Obama’s record and you’ll find they are quite similar.
Hillary Rodham Clinton found out who the real Bob Casey was during the primary of 2008. The Rodham family had a cottage at Lake Winola, and the Casey family had a place at Lake Ariel. The two lakes in the greater Scranton area are just 37 miles apart. Both Casey and Rodham Clinton also have major ties to the City of Scranton proper. Yet, for political reasons, Casey Jr. picked a guy from Chicago back in the 2008 Presidential election over a “local,” Hillary Rodham Clinton. Why?
Casey has a tough time picking a winner as we can see by the zero percentage of success he has on bills passed in the US Senate. He was the kiss of death for Obama in Pennsylvania in 2008’ s Primary. History tells us that Hillary Clinton overwhelmed the Casey-backed Obama in Pennsylvania. Obama and Casey were not even in the people’s sights. Will the people of Pennsylvania render a similar verdict in the general election of 2012? A lot of us are hoping that along with a bunch of other inept politicians, Bob Casey Jr. is sent home by regular-living Pennsylvanians to Scranton PA for good, and that a person who understands business, Tom Smith, a self-made man, is elected to take his place.
The survival of America is at stake.
About Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly is a business owner and former assistant professor at Marywood University; he and his wife live in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Kelly ran for Congress and for the US Senate in his state and believes limited government brings liberty and freedom. Check his books out at www.checkoutking.com.