My article on Senate candidate Pat Toomey appears in the current issue of National Review. Here’s the nut graf:
Although Democrats outnumber Republicans in Pennsylvania by more than a million registered voters — the state hasn’t gone for a GOP presidential candidate since 1988 — Toomey appears to have an edge as his campaign enters the home stretch. In August, polls of likely voters showed him ahead of his rival, Democratic congressman Joe Sestak, by as much as 9 points. Conservatives have a strong interest in the outcome, if only because Republican ambitions for a Senate majority almost certainly require Toomey to prevail. But it’s more than that: Toomey may be one of the two or three most impressive conservatives in this year’s field of senatorial prospects.
I enjoyed reporting the story if only because it allowed me to fly in a light plane for the first time. On the hop from Allentown to Reading, where we picked up Toomey, I got to sit in the co-pilot’s seat. I think I fit right in, with statements such as “Roger that!” and “Let’s get this bird in the air!” Toomey is a licensed pilot and at the end of the day he flew us back to Allentown. The experience forced me to overcome my reluctance to fly with senators (and senatorial candidates). Thankfully, the weather was perfect. I’d do it again.
In researching the article, it dawned on me that I’ve written about several of Pennsylvania’s major politicians: Tom Ridge (2000), Arlen Specter (2003), Bob Casey Jr. (2005), and Rick Santorum (2006). You’d think I was running a bureau for NR.