OK, forget all that Is-Pa-Still-A-Battleground hand-wringing: tomorrow is shaping up to be a crazy and fun day in Pittsburgh for presidential politics.
President Obama of course is coming in for a campaign rally at CMU Friday afternoon, but Republicans are bringing in big guns of their own for a counter-rally across Oakland in the morning, starring former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (right). The GOP/Romney campaign event is at 10 a.m. at Soldiers & Sailors Hall.
The governors are shadowing Obama today in his bus tour of northern Ohio too.
The Obama camp is still handing out tickets for their 2 p.m. event via campaign offices in East Liberty and the Strip District.
And the big news out of the campaign today is via the Toledo Blade, which reports some red meat for the Democratic base: the White House is filing an unfair trade complaint against China today for its duties against US-made cars and SUVs (against the backdrop of Obama's auto bailout, which he's talking/advertising about a lot in auto-heavy Ohio and steel-heavy Pa).
Romney will give Obama a hard run here in Pa, argues former state Rep./GOP Senate candidate Sam Rohrer in an op-ed in the PG today:
Pennsylvania's heritage of religious freedom goes all the way back to William Penn. Pennsylvania's independent spirit, strong work ethic and unswerving commitment to the right to keep and bear arms are well documented. Pennsylvania's tremendous natural resources, including coal, natural gas, oil and timber, hold the key to future economic prosperity.
The citizens of our state remember our better days and see our hope for their return increasingly threatened as Mr. Obama directly or indirectly threatens the foundations of that future. The political ground is shifting across the commonwealth. Once a sure win for the Obama campaign, Pennsylvania may now be what Florida was in 2000, 2004 and 2008: a "must win" for both sides.