Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Know When You're "Holden..."
Holden represents the newly configured 17th Congressional District which now includes large portions of Luzerne and Lackawanna counties. The ten term incumbent faces a primary challenge from Attorney Matt Cartwright of Moosic.
Holden is immensely popular in the southern throes of the new 17th. He's a "blue dog" Democrat, a Democrat who can get Republican votes. In 2004 Holden defeated Scott Paterno (yes that Scott Paterno) to win re-election.
Cartwright enters the race as a well funded challenger. He has used an almost nightly, "The Law and You" segment on television to make this a close contest.
Holden needs to hang onto his base in the southern portions of the 17th and chip away at Cartwright's popularity in the north.
The easiest way to do this is to debate Cartwright. But Holden says, "no."
He didn't just decline a debate invitation. He didn't even respond to the League of Women Voters request.
Holden was a virtual unknown in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre when the gerrymandered 17th became law earlier this year. His best hope was to introduce himself and appear as a strong legislator ready to help his new constituents. One of the easiest ways to do that; debate.
Holden's refusal makes him appear weak.
I think it will cost him re-election.
With apologies to Kenny Rogers, "you've got to know when to "hold-en" and know when to "fold em."