Fetterman Fends Off Quack TV Doctor From New Jersey, Punches Ticket to Senate - DMT NEWS

Breaking News

Fetterman Fends Off Quack TV Doctor From New Jersey, Punches Ticket to Senate

When John Fetterman won the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat, he succeeded, it seemed, on vibes. The Democrat had an advanced degree from Harvard, but didn’t mention it. He had been in public office for nearly two decades, but didn’t act like it. It was hard to picture his hulking frame and American Chopper aesthetic on the floor of the U.S. Senate. That’s exactly why Pennsyvalnia Democrats — and, they hoped, a majority of their fellow voters come November — thought he belonged there.

Ultimately, those fellow voters did. Fetterman defeated Republican Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race on Tuesday night. “We bet on the people of Pennsylvania – and you didn’t let us down,” he wrote on Twitter after the race was called. “And I won’t let you down. Thank you.”

Fetterman had not been Democratic gatekeepers’ first choice. They wanted Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.), whose victory in a 2018 special election for a suburban Pittsburgh House seat elevated the former prosecutor and Iraq war veteran into an archetypal Democratic candidate for the post-Donald Trump era. Oz, too, hadn’t been the preference of the Republican rank-and-file. They preferred former hedge fund CEO David McCormick over the surgeon-turned-TV-star. The clean-cut Lamb, it turned out, never stood a chance against the Carhartt-clad Fetterman, who won every county during the Pennsylvania primary. Oz, meanwhile, limped to victory over McCormick by just 1,000 votes, aided in the final stretch by a late-breaking Trump endorsement.

In the battle of consolation prizes, Democrats liked their odds. Fetterman, the former mayor of down-and-out Braddock, Pennsylvania, cast Oz as a mansion-owning carpetbagger who — and this was the ultimate sin —  lived in New Jersey. (Never mind that Fetterman himself came from privilege — at least he’d never lived across the river.) That narrative was set primarily through the Fetterman campaign’s relentless social media strategy, a necessity as Fetterman recovered from a stroke he suffered just before the Pennsylvania primary.

The state of that recovery, however, became a subject of speculation and criticism as the race wore on. Fetterman’s ability to both speak and understand speech remained compromised. Such lingering symptoms are common in the early months of stroke recovery, but Oz and his allies nevertheless leaned on them to question Fetterman’s fitness for office. An interview with NBC News added fuel to those doubts when the reporter later observed “in small talk before my interview, it wasn’t clear he understood what I was saying.” Fetterman’s campaign released letters from doctors attesting to his fitness, but did not share detailed medical records with the media. Instead, his defense often relied on an appeal to empathy, chastising Oz for being a doctor who mocks sick people. He did not, however, release additional medical records.

Oz also homed in on Fetterman as a “radical” Democrat who was soft on crime in the race’s final weeks. The blitz mirrored the sorts of generic attacks that plagued Democratic candidates across the country: “John Fetterman wants ruthless killers, muggers, and rapists back on our streets,” one TV ad from Oz allies vividly stated. Republicans also tried to hammer Fetterman from the right: Ads recalled a 2013 incident when, as mayor of Braddock, Fetterman heard gunshots and ran out of his house carrying his shotgun as he chased a Black man on a run.

Fetterman’s vibe-forward candidacy lent him a mirrorball quality that sent Democrats across the ideological spectrum claiming him as their own. His victory hardly settles intra-party debates, but perhaps ushers forth a Democratic archetype: No longer a well-pressed veteran, but a tattooed, hoodie-wearing Yinzer.



via https://www.DMT.NEWS

Kara Voght, Khareem Sudlow