Well, here's a first: Mary Beth Buchanan actually helping a Democratic elected official.
Western Pennsylvania's US Attorney, with whom we've had some differences, is stepping down from her post this month. And there's been word that the Bush appointee may be planning to challenge U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire in Pennsylvania's 4th Congressional District.
Is it true? I'm not sure. But Altmire is already using the possibility as a fundraising tool. A dispatch from Altmire's campaign -- reprinted below -- just hit our e-mail inboxes. Reading it over, you can see the kind of race Altmire might run if Buchanan did take him on. The entire thing suggests that, while Buchanan has never run for office before, she's the same old, same old. Labels like "partisan" and "divisive" appear in the second sentence, and later in the piece as well. Altmire name-drops George W. Bush and his previous foe, Melissa Hart.
This is, of course, part of the reason Democratic partisans hope Buchanan does run. If you're Jason Altmire, obviously, you'd much rather convince the voters it was still 2006 or 2008. And it's a bit of a nostalgia trip for Dems as well -- a Buchanan candidacy would give us all a chance to bash the Bush years all over again.
Anyway, the text of Altmire's e-mail below: The only change I made was to delete several CONTRIBUTE NOW links interspersed throughout the message:
Here we go again! After fielding the most partisan, divisive candidate possible in Melissa Hart, Republicans are now actively trying to recruit an equally polarizing candidate to enter the race for the congressional seat they lost in 2006.
You may have seen this news report of the Republican National Committee's efforts to recruit the controversial U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001, to enter the race. Clearly they haven't learned from their mistakes. They want to turn back the clock to take back the seat that you helped win for the people of western Pennsylvania. Clearly they didn't get the message that the people of western Pennsylvania voted to move America in a new direction. Help me show that simply pulling a page from the same tired playbook won't lead the Republicans back into power to return to the policies that led this country to the brink of economic catastrophe.
You have been generous with your past support, and I hope that I can count on you again as we prepare for what promises to be yet another Republican campaign of misleading attack ads. It is obvious that the national Republicans are desperate and plan to find the most polarizing and divisive candidate out there. Unfortunately, this is the formula they have used to successfully carry this district before, but I hope you won't let them do it again. In order to make sure I have the ability to fight back, please consider contributing to my campaign today.
With a well-funded and well-known opponent and a Republican National Committee that has made it clear that they will stop at nothing to retake the seat they lost three years ago, I must have the necessary resources to tell the story of the change we have brought to western Pennsylvania. But responding in the media is expensive, so please help make sure that I have the essential funds to compete on a level playing field against another well-financed opponent. We have worked too hard and come too far to simply turn this seat back over to another Bush-era partisan ideologue.
Thank you again for all your past support.