Rich Galen

I hope they make him wear a beanie with a propeller on it, order him to get coffee for more senior members - like those first elected in 2008 and make sure the newspapers are tidy in the Democratic cloakroom.

The world descended upon Tom Ridge to save the day.

Ridge served as a non-commissioned officer in Vietnam and lost a good deal of his hearing for the price of it. He then served as a Member of Congress from the Erie area of Pennsylvania. Then he was elected Governor of Pennsylvania. After 9/11 he answered a phone call from President George W. Bush and gave up the Governor's mansion to become a staffer in the White House, and then became the first Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition to being a true American patriot, Tom Ridge is still very popular in Pennsylvania. Had either George W. or John McCain chosen Ridge to be his VP running mate, they would have carried the Keystone State.

Don't believe me? A Public Opinion Strategy poll released mid-week showed that Ridge - who has not been in elective office in PA for a number of years - would crush Toomey in a GOP primary by about 37 percentage points and would beat Specter in the general election by about seven points.

The problem for Ridge was… he would probably have won and then would have had to serve in the U.S. Senate.

A United States Senator will spend three weeks worrying over a semicolon in a second-degree amendment on a minor bill which will rise or fall by voice vote. That's how Senators spend their time.

So, yesterday Tom Ridge announced he would not enter the race for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania and Pat Toomey will likely be the Republican nominee. It is still unclear whether Arlen Specter will follow through with his unbelievably ill-formed plan to run as a Democrat in 2010. I suspect it is now 50-50 that Specter will retire at the end of this term.

I was very happy to see coverage of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing - the committee which Specter chaired when Republicans ruled the world, and of which he was the leading Republican last week - I was happy to see that he had been demoted to the most junior Democrat. His name plate sat, alone and embarrassed, at the far end of the panel.

Specter wasn't there. He was apparently embarrassed, too.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at