In favor of McCord for Governor

by Jack Armstrong, West Chester Borough Dems Facebook page, 3/8/14

Dear Fellow Democrats,

I think we should nominate Rob McCord Governor. I happen to know this guy. He and his wife Leigh were among a handful of people who came forward to help when we started the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre years ago.

Contrary to custom, I want to talk about something other than issues. My reason: unless I’ve missed something, the candidates’ differences on issues are quibbles. They all support the Democratic agenda – civil rights, voting rights, education funding, effective regulation of the shale oil industry, gun control, etc.

So the important question for us is not what they stand for, but who will stand more effectively. Because having your heart in the right place is only halfway there. Governing is hard. Many politicians with golden intentions have stumbled badly on the realities of budget limits, entrenched bureaucracies and conflicting constituencies.

I think Rob McCord has proven that he is up to the task. When we first met him in the 1990s, Rob was starting something called the Eastern Technology Council, to ferment tech industry in the Philadelphia area. Before long, eight hundred companies had joined forces under ETC’s banner, and it was one of the driving forces behind Philadelphia’s tech boom in the 1990s. It was good for Rob’s career and it was terrific for Philadelphia. What that shows about Rob is that he has this ability to combine good intentions with pragmatic, realistic strategy. I like that. He’s not just well-intentioned. He’s well-intentioned with muscle.

Since being elected Treasurer in 2008, Rob has used the power of that perch and his expertise in investment strategies to help retirees, help students, and return $2.1 billion to the state coffers. All this while streamlining operations and cutting costs in his department. In other words, again, a mind for detail and a pragmatic creativity informed by good intentions. Again, the ability to turn good ideas into facts.

Most of all, I would like to speak to Rob’s character. I have known him for twenty years. He’s a down-to-earth guy with a goofy sense of humor, who genuinely cares about people. Let’s face it: politics can be ugly, and often, the candidates we’d rather vote for are not willing. But Rob has a first-rate brain and a true heart. How often do we get to vote for somebody like that?

Jack Armstrong
West Chester 7th Ward


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