Strange political bedfellows: Obama endorsed by pro-life Sen. Bob Casey Jr.
Casey disagrees with Obama on a number of key issues, including abortion and gun control, but somehow can see past those differences to support the junior senator from Illinois.
Three weeks after stating he would not pick sides in the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton contest in order to maintain party unity, Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has endorsed Barack Obama.
What prompted Silent Bob to speak on the presidential race?
Casey told a Pittsburgh rally this morning that "I believe in my heart that there is one person who's uniquely qualified to lead us in that new direction and that is Barack Obama."
Wasn't Obama that person three weeks ago? Who knows what goes on in the mind of Silent Bob Casey, Pennsylvania's junior senator?
"I really believe that in a time of danger around the world and in division here at home, Barack Obama can lead us, he can heal us, he can help rebuild America," Casey said.
Casey, who like Obama was elected to the Senate in 2006, is a strange political animal. He disagrees with Obama on a number of key issues, including abortion and gun control, but somehow can see past those differences to support the junior senator from Illinois.
See my earlier post, "Silent Bob maintains his silence."
PaWaterCooler.com says Casey's backing of Obama is a betrayal of Casey's father, former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey Sr.
"The most pro-life Democrat in the Senate has endorsed the most pro-abortion Democrat in the Senate for President of the United States. Shame on you, Bobby!" says John Lewandowski.
The New Republic thinks Casey's endorsement is a big deal for Obama.
The Casey endorsement does add one more "superdelegate" in Obama's camp, but some other Pennsylvania political heavyweights, Gov. Ed Rendell, Congressman John Murtha and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, are backing Hillary Clinton.
Obama trails Clinton in Pennsylvania polls by double digits, but he's just starting to campaign in the state with a six-day bus trip kicking off in Pittsburgh.
Also, the latest Gallup Poll has Obama leading Clinton nationally by 50 percent to 42 percent. You can see the full poll results at http://gallup.com
The Pennsylvania primary, in which 158 delegates are at stake, is on April 22.
Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas