Scranton's Not-So-Favorite Son
Democrats made a big deal of Joe Biden's working-class roots last night as he accepted the vice presidential nomination. "Joe is salt of the earth," Sen. Obama said on a video shown at the convention.
Democratic surrogates played up Mr. Biden's birth in Scranton, Pa. a town that went heavily for Hillary Clinton in this year's Democratic primary. Indeed, when Mr. Biden was introduced to the nation last Saturday as Mr. Obama's running mate, he referred to Scranton four times, almost ignoring the fact he is a senator from Delaware, where his family moved when he was 10.
But there is trouble for the Obama-Biden ticket back in Scranton. Yesterday, Steve Corbett, the biggest talk-show host in northeastern Pennsylvania, announced that watching coverage of the Democratic convention "put me over the edge." A leading liberal voice, he is leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent. He doesn't think Mr. Obama is a qualified presidential candidate and party bosses have "disrespected" Mrs. Clinton.
Her speech urging Democrats to support Mr. Obama didn't impress him. "Like Hillary Clinton, I've decided to move on. It's time for a change," he told his listeners on WILK-AM. His phone lines were immediately jammed with supportive callers. Mr. Corbett isn't yet endorsing John McCain, but he has had warm words for his military service and maverick habits.Joe Biden may be beloved in Scranton, but it's very unclear if his presence on the ticket will do nearly enough to woo the working-class Democrats that remain up for grabs in this election.
-- John Fund
writing in the Wall Street Journal's POLITICAL DIARY ONLINE