Perhaps it was a case of convention fatigue setting in, or perhaps it was the fear of getting Berned again by a featured speaker who didn’t show, but this morning’s PA delegation breakfast was by far the most sparsely attended of the DNC, despite featuring an appearance by the other female candidate looking to make history.
Katie McGinty, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, took to the podium ahead of her speaking slot at tonight’s DNC. McGinty, who would become the first woman senator in state history if elected, tried to fire up those in attendance by reciting a litany of recent Democratic accomplishments in the state, including the dramatic shift in Montgomery County from Republican to Democratic control, a clean sweep of last year’s appellate and Supreme Court races, and the addition of 800,000 new registered Democratic voters to the rolls.
She added that everyone in attendance had to understand that every one of those voters will be needed come Nov. 8. “This has to be a week where you re-energize and recommit” to getting out the vote, she declared. “The birthplace of democracy has to be the place where we save democracy – that’s what’s at stake” in this election.
As for her own race and focus, McGinty said, “the biggest challenge facing our country is the lack of good-paying jobs. Even though we have gone from 800,000 jobs lost a month” – when President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, in the eye of the Great Recession – “to the greatest string of job creation ever seen, what we know is that too many of those jobs are not family-sustaining jobs.”
In McGinty’s view, it is this anxiety and income inequality that has fed the candidacy of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, whom she labeled “an existential threat – a demagogue who will divide and discriminate” if elected.
“It’s jump ball time for the soul and spirit of this country,” she declared.
After her time at the podium, McGinty elaborated on what she would do to help working families if elected.
“I’d like to join those senators who have been putting forth very good ideas on how we rebuild our roads, our bridges, rebuilding our water infrastructure,” she said. “Sen. Toomey” – incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey – “has often voted against those.
When it comes to manufacturing,” she continued, “we’ve been sold a bill of goods that it’s al about China and low-cost labor. That’s just not true. In many markets today, it’s about skill, speed to market and technology. When you put those things together, nobody can – or should – beat the USA. A great country doesn’t just buy and consume stuff; a great country builds and makes stuff. There’s no reason why we can’t compete.”
When asked about the controversy this week over her intemperate remarks directed at Toomey, McGinty, who apologized for calling Toomey “an asshole” soon after, was forthright in accepting responsibility for injecting invective into the campaign.
“I am my father’s daughter – a salty Irishman,” she acknowledged, “especially when it comes to the issues that are so critical for American families today. I’m going to bring passion to those issues, I’m going to say it’s just wrong that we’re going to hand Social Security over to Wall Street. I’m going to fight passionately against that. You’re going to hear a little sass sometime, but it’s because I care deeply about working families.
“People do get tired of the scripted talking points and the stuff that sounds so canned,” she added. “They got something a little different from Katie McGinty.”