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Enjoy it while you can, Mr. Wolf

Tribune-Review
| Saturday, November 8, 2014 9:00 p.m.
PennsylvaniaElectionJPEG0a583
Pennsylvania Democratic Gov.-elect Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media outside the Manchester Café the day after he won the gubernatorial election, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in Manchester, Pa. Wolf won nearly 55 percent of the vote in Tuesday's election, making Republican Tom Corbett the first Pennsylvania governor to be denied a second term. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

WINNER/LOSER. Tom Wolf.

The York businessman on Tuesday handily defeated Gov. Tom Corbett, as polls had predicted he would for months.

But Wolf won’t have much time to savor the win.

When he takes office in January, the Democrat will find both General Assembly chambers in the hands of GOP lawmakers who constantly stymied Republican Corbett’s attempts to advance his agenda. Wolf will have to move quickly to prepare his first budget with the state facing a shortfall of as much as $1.7 billion. That potential deficit could make it difficult for Wolf to deliver on his goal of having the state assume a greater portion of public school costs.

Given those challenges and others, the luster of Wolf’s win seems unlikely to last.

LOSER. Tom Harkin.

The retiring Democrat senator of Iowa turned sexist in a last-minute attempt to prevent Republican Joni Ernst from being elected to succeed him.

At a Democrat barbecue shortly before Election Day, Harkin compared Ernst to pop star Taylor Swift, who churns out hit singles but isn’t known for policy pronouncements.

“There’s sort of this sense that, ‘I hear so much about Joni Ernst. She is really attractive, and she sounds nice,’” Harkin told the partisan crowd. “Well, I got to thinking about that. I don’t care if she’s as good looking as Taylor Swift … if she votes like (Minnesota Republican U.S. Rep.) Michele Bachmann, she’s wrong for the state of Iowa.”

Ernst, who was elected despite Harkin’s misgivings, said she initially was offended by the remark. “But you know what, hey, just as Taylor Swift would say: ‘Shake it Off.’”

Her victory on Tuesday undoubtedly made that easier to do.

LOSER. Jay Nixon.

Missouri’s Democrat governor set off a Twitter furor on Tuesday when he tweeted a photo of himself and a constituent voting at the polls.

The pants of the other voter, a woman, were riding so low that her posterior was showing.

Nixon quickly took down the photo, but not before it was widely ridiculed on social media sites. Wrote former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain on his own Twitter feed: “Let’s just say this photo that (Nixon) tweeted left us cracking up.”

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