September 14, 2005


Swann lacks experience, but celebrity status a plus (Greg Garber, 9/14/05,

If anyone can navigate his way through the sometimes Byzantine, 67-county Pennsylvania political system, it's probably Swann. He has a 500-watt smile, a formidable work ethic, a firm handshake and a degree in public relations from USC's School of Journalism.

The Keystone State is composed of approximately 46,000 square miles and 12 million people. The charismatic Swann seems intent on covering and connecting with all of them.

There are approximately eight million registered voters in Pennsylvania, including 3.8 million registered Democrats and 3.3 million registered Republicans. Swann's appearances on the rubber chicken circuit of modest GOP country gatherings the last six months have produced record attendance figures.

Swann is a rare creature, indeed. The son of Democrats is an African-American Republican, something once thought to be an oxymoron. His potential ability to excite both suburban conservatives and urban African-Americans intrigues national GOP operatives. A year from November, Swann arguably could be the nation's highest ranking elected Republican African-American -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was, of course, selected by President George Bush. From that platform, it would not be inconceivable to imagine a run at the presidency in 2012.

But that's getting ahead of the game.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 14, 2005 3:39 PM

Great news in itself. But might this also save Santorum?

Posted by: Luciferous at September 14, 2005 3:54 PM

I live across the street from Serra High (Jesuit) in San Mateo, where Swann went to high school. He's still a BMOC due to his charm, though he's been living in Pennsylvania for many years.

An interesting sports tidbit. Serra High is the only high school to claim two alumni as Superbowl MVPs. Swann and Tom Brady. Oh, and Barry Bonds went there, too.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at September 14, 2005 4:03 PM

"The son of Democrats is an African-American Republican, something once thought to be an oxymoron."

Only to ESPN sportswriters and the rest of their brethren in the MSM.

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at September 14, 2005 4:08 PM

Unfortunately, Swann's a jerk with the public. The first time he blows off some kid who asks for his autograph in front of a reporter (as he routinely has done for years without the media present), he's finished.

Posted by: AC at September 14, 2005 5:05 PM

I've always liked this guy. He has consistently been one of a very select group of sideline reporters who do not completely suck. His professionalism and charisma are obvious to anybody who has listened to him speak.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at September 14, 2005 5:39 PM


Pretty low bar.

Posted by: oj at September 14, 2005 5:43 PM


"Electable" is my bar.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at September 14, 2005 6:57 PM

Lynn Swann; I'd vote for him.

Posted by: Genecis at September 14, 2005 7:14 PM


I meant sideline reporters.

Posted by: oj at September 14, 2005 7:28 PM

Just keep Bradshaw away from a microphone during any kind of supporting campaign rally...

Posted by: John at September 14, 2005 7:47 PM

There has only been one U.S. President from Pennsylvania, and he was a failure as President, despite enormous success in politics before holding the highest office.
He was also the nation's only bachelor President - Democrat James Buchanan, who served from 1857 - 1861.

Buchanan was elected with a plurality, facing both the Republican Party's first presidential candidate, John Charles Fremont, and former President Millard Fillmore, who was the nominee of both the American "Know Nothing" and Whig parties.

Buchanan was born on April 23, 1791 in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania. Buchanan served as a volunteer in the defense of Baltimore, Maryland, against the British during the War of 1812. He was first elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1814, serving two terms. In 1820 Buchanan was elected to the United States House of Representatives, serving for ten years. Buchanan served as diplomatic representative to Russia at Saint Petersburg, the capital of Russia, from 1832 to 1833. Two years later he was elected United States Senator from Pennsylvania. Re-elected twice, he served until 1845. In 1845 he became Secretary of State under President James Polk. He was a strong contender for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1852, but lost to Franklin Pierce. He supported Pierce in the campaign and was named Minister to Great Britain. Buchanan left his diplomatic post in London to take part in the Democratic National Convention of 1856.
He became president at a time of great crisis in the United States when extraordinary leadership was needed if the Southern states were to remain in the Union, but he was not a successful leader. Under more normal circumstances, his qualities as a hardworking politician of compromise and accommodation would have served the country admirably. He failed to realize that the North would not accept arguments favoring the South. He maintained that slavery was morally wrong, but he also believed that the federal government had an obligation to protect it in the Southern states where it already existed. In this view he differed from the abolitionists, who demanded an end to slavery, and whom he despised as fanatics. Buchanan tolerated the existence of slavery on the grounds that the Constitution of the United States permitted it. Therefore, he argued that it was the duty of the federal government to protect the institution of slavery wherever it existed in the country. Near the end of his term, Buchanan was unable to prevent the secession of seven slave states of the Deep South and the formation of an independent government, the Confederate States of America. The result was the American Civil War. more...
Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 14, 2005 10:32 PM

Lincoln failed to prevent the Civil War, but few --besides libertarians -- think him our worst president.

Posted by: oj at September 15, 2005 2:05 AM

Buchanan was not our worst President, but he was a failure, certainly among the bottom ten Presidents, and the Democratic Party didn't even nominate him to run for re-election in '60.

Buchanan also wrote off the Union military bases in the South, sending only ONE steamship in support, which was driven off by the Rebs.
Very Carter-esque.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 15, 2005 4:39 AM

Killed rather few Americans though.

Posted by: oj at September 15, 2005 8:19 AM

Killed few Americans directly, but set the stage for horrific slaughter.

Anyway, what's a guy who salivates over the prospect of dropping nukes doing uttering a pacifistic analysis ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 16, 2005 3:43 AM