Education has been identified as the most important issue to Pennsylvania voters this fall, so we should expect a lot of discussion of the issue by The Battling Toms between now and November. And SURPRISE – two new ads and two opposing takes on Gov. Tom Corbett's education budgets.
Did we say "surprise?" OK, maybe not so much.
Corbett: Statistics Class
What's new: Not much, except that Ed Rendell seems to be as much of a target here as Mr. Corbett's actual opponent, Tom Wolf. As we recall, Mr. Rendell was a pretty popular guy and we wonder if he's the best surrogate for Mr. Corbett to pick on.
What's not: The Corbett campaign employs happy musicians as well?
Bottom line: "And now you know the truth."
Random things we noticed: Given the recent ads by Mr. Corbett and the state Republican party, it seems likely we're going to see as many mentions of Mr. Rendell and President Obama as we will actual issues – or an actual candidate. Given the complexity of this issue – and that fact that both candidates can lay claim to being right – we wonder if the Corbett campaign will continue to focus on the funding issue or move on to something more palatable to his base, like, say, dismantling Common Core.
Tom Wolf: Education Facts
What's new: As was the case with Mr. Corbett's ad, not a whole lot. Although it does seem like Mr. Wolf is content to run against one guy.
What's not: Outside of the bit about the number of educators who have lost their jobs under Mr. Corbett's watch? It's all old hat, even down to using the same headlines for the claims about "taking the ax to education" and the number of districts considering property tax increases.
Bottom line: "Tom Corbett. Can't trust him on education. Can't trust him to be for us."
Random things we noticed: We wondered before whether Mr. Wolf himself has the personality to pull off an attack ad, so it's worth noting he doesn't appear in this one. And we really appreciate the addition of a new claim on Mr. Corbett's education record—that would be the one about teachers losing their jobs – because the old ones are feeling a little stale.