This new Josh Shapiro email speaks volumes about his future plans | Thursday Morning Coffee
Attorney General Josh Shapiro appears at a rally for victims of abuse by priests. (Gov. Tom Wolf/Flickr)
Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
Any interview with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro follows a pretty predictable playbook: There’s a couple of questions about his plethora of lawsuits against the Trump administration; his ongoing efforts to implement the reforms included in last year’s bombshell grand jury report about sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses, and, inevitably, some question about his plans for the future.
The last one is largely pro forma. There isn’t anyone in Pennsylvania politics who expects that Shapiro, who is 45, and has energy and ambition to spare, isn’t going to run for something in 2022, when the terms of both Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey will be up.
Shapiro, who was elected in 2016, is also widely expected to run for a second term in 2020.
The smart money for the future seems to be on Shapiro making a bid for Wolf’s open seat. Unless Toomey does something catastrophically stupid between now and 2022, there’s every reason to expect he’ll run, and probably get re-elected to a third, six-year term (Unless, of course, current LG John Fetterman gets a case of happy feet, in which case, all bets are off.).
But if you ask Shapiro about his future plans, you’ll get an amiable hummana-hummana-hummana about how he loves his current job and has given absolutely nooooooo thought about anything else (there is a reason, of course, that the professional association for attorneys general is known as the National Association of Aspiring Governors).
Such was the case when we talked to Shapiro a couple of weeks back, where he did the same amiable deferral, telling us, “I actually love my job.”
But as is the case with the president that Shapiro has sued nearly two-dozen times now, paying attention to what the Montgomery County Democrat does is just as important as what he says.
Which brings us to the email that Shapiro’s re-election campaign blasted out to his supporters on Tuesday. The subject line “This affects us too,” immediately piqued our interest. Naturally, we opened it.
There, we found Shapiro railing against President Donald Trump’s proposed budget and the impact it could have on student loans. Clicking on a link in the email brought us to this thicket of verbiage:
“In his budget for the next fiscal year, Trump cuts more than $8.5 billion from the Department of Education, ends the student loan forgiveness program, and eliminates subsidized student loans, which could force students to pay $207 billion more on their loans.” the chatter reads.
“These cuts will make it harder for Americans to pursue opportunity and achieve prosperity. It’s critical we make it known that these cuts harm students who want an opportunity to achieve the American dream. Add your name to stand with Josh Shapiro and Americans across the country to oppose these cuts,” it concludes.
True, Shapiro’s office is pursuing litigation against one of the country’s biggest loan servicers. So there is a proximate cause for his interest in student loans. But, strictly speaking, the talk about Trump’s budget is outside the purview of that litigation.
There are one of two reasons that Shapiro is taking that tack. He’s either looking forward to running for re-election to a second, four-year term, or he has his eyes on a larger prize. Again, what he says is as important as what he does.
And this email suggests Shapiro is playing the long game.
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State Rep. Chris Quinn holds a 6 p.m. reception in lovely Media, Pa. Admission runs $500 to $5,000, dependent, as ever, upon your ardor to bask in his reflected glow.
Here’s one from Neon Trees, it’s ‘Love and Affection.’
Thursday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link.
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And now you’re up to date.
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