Bill Steigerwald

Politically, your stump speech with all those vague policy ideas and warmed-over Great Society promises will do fine. Most Democrats here still haven't noticed big-government liberalism doesn't work. Don't be afraid to bash immigrants -- legal or illegal -- for any reason. Pittsburgh has fewer foreign-born residents than any other major city.

But remember not to complain about public schools being underfunded - quite a few Democrats even know Pittsburgh schools spend $18,000 a student and still don't work. Don't say anything nice about all those construction jobs created by the North Shore Connector transit tunnel, either; even Democrat committeemen know it's a horrible boondoggle.

Lastly, and most crucially, Sen. Obama, remember at all times what we told you about Pittsburgh's demographics -- it's the whitest major metropolitan area in America.

You must not mention the "R" word or talk about your hope of "bringing people beyond the divisions of race and class" around here. (Per your request, we've canceled your guest sermon at that black church. And from now on, let the Bus do all the bowling.)

Bill Steigerwald

Bill Steigerwald, born and raised in Pittsburgh, is a former L.A. Times copy editor and free-lancer who also worked as a docudrama researcher for CBS-TV in Hollywood before becoming a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a columnist Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Bill Steigerwald recently retired from daily newspaper journalism..