By Aryanna Hunter
Pittsburgh Current Columnist
“I was born in Scranton like Bob Casey and Joe Biden!” is what my now 12-year-old would say when I was on the campaign trail for Lt. Governor in 2017 and 2018. She would often road trip with me across the Commonwealth and take over my Instagram page with her very own hashtag of #Camigram. She was born in Scranton and still affectionately loves the city even though we moved a few years after she was born.
Last week when Joe Biden formally accepted the Democratic nomination for President the current President tried to undermine the acceptance speech of the former Vice President by saying “The Scranton stuff…that’s why I figured I’d come here to explain to you one thing, but I think you people know it better than I do, he left. He abandoned Pennsylvania.”
According to the political prognosticators who crunch numbers and make assumptions about Presidential elections, Pennsylvania is the most crucial of battleground states.
With 20 electoral votes Pennsylvania is one six states that many independent expenditure and political action committees are investing in early.
Priorities USA Action has spent $46,2 million so far in the 2020 election cycle nationwide with just over $28 million dollars being spent against President Trump and according to their Battleground Briefing Pennsylvania is one of their core states that they are investing in. During the 2016 Presidential election Priorities USA Action spent $133.4 million with about $126 million being spent to defeat Donald Trump. And I’m certain I don’t need to remind you that Hillary Clinton didn’t win in 2016.
Hillary Clinton often touted her family’s roots in the Scranton area with her grandfather having worked in a lace mill and her father being born and raised in Scranton. This familial tie to our state still didn’t ensure that she came out on top with losing to President Trump by 44,000 votes.
Last weekend the family and I spent some time in rural Westmoreland County and support for Trump was everywhere. From large plywood signs in the grassy front lawns of farmhouses to those picking up groceries at Giant Eagle head to toe in their “MAGA” garb.
Supporters of President Trump are as just fired up as they once were. They aren’t sitting on the sidelines, watching polls, critiquing the slight difference in policy. They are shouting from their very rooftops ensuring all of their neighbors know who they are voting for in November.
They don’t care how obnoxious they are.
As Democrats begin to throw their support behind the Biden Harris ticket, they can’t be lukewarm in their enthusiasm. They must go all in. Ignore the polls showing him slightly ahead, the fact that they have seen Biden yard signs in their neighborhood, and they have to ignore the fact that he might not be 100 percent in line with them on their issue.
Democrats have to “fake it til they make it” if they don’t feel fired up and ready to go for the Biden Harris ticket.
Put his sign in your lawn, buy a Biden face mask to wear to pick up take-out, wear a t-shirt with “Madame Vice President” scrawled across the front. Be loud and proud.
In 2016 so many waited for the glass ceiling to finally shatter but it remained fully intact.
I remember waiting in a ridiculously long line to vote that cold November morning and dressing the kids and I in white to honor the history that was about to be made…. I’m still disappointed it didn’t happen.
In 2020, we are being given another opportunity to not only make history in our country but to right a course that has been detrimental to so many by electing the first Black woman ever on a major party presidential ticket.
I love Scranton and have many fond memories of the time I lived there – especially the birth of my daughter.
We need to not only make the Electric City charged up for the Biden Harris ticket we need to show in every corner of this Commonwealth that the democracy and ideals of our great nation won’t be pawns in the hands of Donald Trump any longer.
We must show up this year.
America is counting on us.