One thing is clear to the SCPR: they may be sister and brother, but from a political sophistication perspective Joyce Healy-Abrams (Democratic candidate for Congress, the7th congressional district: website LINK) is no William J. Healy, II (mayor of Canton, in his second term).
The Report has written in previous blogs that brother-Healy may be the most urbane, skilled and enduring politicians around these parts. And like him or not, he does have a strong political personality. A quality that sister-Healy seems to be lacking.
But she is new to politics having become active about one and one half years ago. Perhaps in time she will be his equal. Just not now.
For now, the way yours truly thinks she might win in November is for the Republican stance on the Medicare issue itself, as formulated by the GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan (i.e. the prospect that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office prediction that his voucher idea might possibly cost Medicare recipients $6,400 on average in extra health insurance premium cost annually), to overwhelm Healy-Abrams Republican opponent Congressman Bob Gibbs just because Republicans in tight races get tainted with the Ryan brush.
For there is little about the apparent political personality and dynamism of challenger Healy-Abrams that is likely to appeal to 7th congressional district voters. Her appeal will have to be on the substance of her position on the Medicare issue and any other issue(s) that might catch fire with the voting public.
Yesterday morning, Healy-Abrams held an event at Canton's Mayfield Senior Center designed "to educate" the public about the dangers of the Ryan version of his plan to cut the federal budget deficit over 10 years on the backs of Medicare recipients.
A firebrand politician she was not. The Report can only imagine what brother William would have done with the Medicare topic.
Joyce seems to approach campaigning a some sort of academic exercise. She brought in a Washington, DC Social Security and Medicare policy wonk as a featured presenter yesterday. Phillip Rotondi of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (LINK)was a center of attention yesterday pretty much the equal of the candidate herself.
Her approach at the Mayfield Senior Center was certainly different from that of opponent Bob Gibbs as he addressed a crowd of about 2,000 at Paul Ryan's rally at Walsh University.
The Medicare issue may be Healy-Abrams ticket to the United States House chambers.
As the matter stands now, it appears to the SCPR that the issue will have to carry her to victory rather than her making the case for herself in terms of demonstrated political passion and drive.