As we continue to stockpile sandbags in advance of a lot of national temperature-taking stories on the District 12 special election, Republican strategist Bill Pascoe notes the similarity with the Johnstown district's 1974 special, which brought Jack Murtha into office:
One author who wrote of the 1974 race put it this way:
"The national press covered the Murtha versus Fox campaign in early 1974 because of the implications that the outcome might have for the upcoming November elections for the entire House of Representatives. An article in Time magazine stated: "Aware that the race might be seen as a bellwether for November's balloting, both parties trotted out some of their big names to join the campaign -- Vice President Gerald Ford for Fox, Senators Henry Jackson, Walter Mondale, Edmund Muskie and Joseph Biden for Murtha."
That author was Jack Murtha himself; the passage is taken from his 2003 memoir, From
Vietnam to 9/11: On the Front Lines of National Security. It's striking that Murtha was writing of an election that took place 36 years ago, and everyone mentioned as the "big stars" of each party has now been long gone from the political scene for more than a decade ... except for Joe Biden. Ah, change you can believe in ..