So Donald Trump endorsed state Sen./January 6 attendee Doug Mastriano for Pennsylvania's Republican nomination for Governor mere days before the Tuesday primary, and one feels compelled to ask: what took him so long? Mr. Trump sure does like to get behind a winner, and Mr. Mastriano has had a pretty hefty lead in most polls for a few weeks now; that probably explains it. State Republicans say he can't win, but surely they understand things better than that! Republican wave or no, Mr. Mastriano has a decent shot against state Attorney General/presumptive Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro, particularly if Mr. Shapiro does the Democrat thing and act like he's got it in the bag.
Meanwhile, does the Trump camp seriously expect us to believe, in re Kathy Barnette's late surge in the PA Republican Senate nomination race, that "no one saw this coming"? I saw this coming, and I get paid by the hour! Of course, I mistakenly thought Jeff Bartos would benefit from "not being one of the two rich out-of-state guys in the race," but apparently his role in this drama has only been to take front-runners out, first Sean Parnell (he leaked the news of Mr. Parnell's divorce proceedings, you may recall), and then Messrs. Oz and McCormick (if I saw the ad he ran on that topic once I saw it a hundred times). Still, anyone could have seen this coming, particularly students of Deb Fischer's 2012 Senate campaign in Nebraska.
Much has been said about Ms. Barnette's loose tongue on Twitter since she's become a thing, but I take particular exception to her claim that "homosexuals LEAD with their sexual preference" (shouty caps in original). No, Ms. Barnette, you "lead with their sexual preference" by only talking about gays in terms of sex, which is but one aspect of anyone's life. I don't know how many more ways I can put this. Fun fact: Ms. Barnette lost in Pennsylvania's 4th House district in 2020 by 19 points -- and not only wouldn't concede defeat, but launched at least one frivolous lawsuit to stop it from happening!
And yet Republican efforts to stop Ms. Barnette's candidacy reek of desperation, as would any last-minute effort to stop a candidate whose surge you didn't see until it was far too late. I can't get away from that "Crazy Kathy Barnette" ad on TV (and if she were a man, think they'd call her "crazy"?). The ad not only takes alleged "praise" for Barack Obama and Black Lives Matter way, way out of context, but repeats phrases like "white racism" and "structural racism" with a sneer, as if that alone makes them "crazy" things to say! I could never vote for Ms. Barnette in the general election, but I hope she beats her opponents' asses beet-red in the primary, because the "Crazy" ad is exactly the kind of thing that should bring shame and shunning upon anyone who creates it.
Finally, the New York Times wonders why Rep. Conor Lamb, despite "Ha(ving) All the Makings of a Front-Runner," is not actually the front-runner in the race for the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nomination. I wouldn't blame you if you shot out because liberals are sick of this shit, that's why, but at least the Times did cite that (not in those precise words) as one of the two reasons, the other being the Lamb campaign's own "missteps." What were these "missteps"? Taking front-running status for granted, trying to appear "above the fray," calling yourself the "most electable" candidate -- in short, all of the things Democratic consultants always tell their candidates to do! If folks like John Fetterman and Lucas Kunce and Gary Chambers and Charles Booker can win their Senate elections this year, maybe folks will stop listening to the defeatist pablum of Democratic consultants. Why, folks might even realize that they're the reason Democrats went from (in Paul Begala's words) "the party of the factory floor to the party of the faculty lounge."