A Grand Year for Politics
Mistick, Joseph Sabino, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Maybe you heard of the Trappist monk who had taken a vow of silence. Every 10 years he was permitted to say two words to the abbot on New Year's Day.
After his first decade in the monastery, the monk met with the abbot and said, "Hard bed." Ten years later, the monk said, "Cold cell." Finally, on his 30th anniversary in the monastery, the monk told the abbot, "Bad food."
With that, the abbot snapped: "All you do is complain. That's no way to start the new year. Can't you say anything good?"
The abbot had a point. By the end of any year, it is easy enough to be worn down by the natural travails of life. Even a little cynicism can kick in and that is why it is important to focus on the positive qualities of the coming new year.
So let's look at the bright side. No matter what else happens, 2008 will be a banner year for politicians and those who follow their antics. There's the presidential thing to capture your attention. What can be more exciting than picking a replacement for George W. Bush?
If you have a stake in Pittsburgh politics, you can scrutinize every move of Luke Ravenstahl. A gaggle of potential mayoral opponents smell a little blood in the political waters and will be watching for Luke to stumble in 2008. With the next mayoral primary in early 2009, this is the determinative year.
And even though Pennsylvania's next gubernatorial election won't take place until 2010, this year can have a substantial impact on who will be the next occupant of the governor's mansion. Just consider what this coming year holds for the three potential candidates from Allegheny County.
Democrat state Auditor General Jack Wagner is up for re-election in 2008, which will give him the chance to build and fine-tune his statewide political organization. …