February 20 – Freshman US Senator John Fetterman from Pennsylvania checked himself into the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last week for clinical depression.
Initial reporting said he would likely be there for a few weeks, but now it looks more like months.
There’s been very little communication from the Fetterman camp.
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “If your suspicion is up, it should be up exponentially now.”
Attorney Clint Barkdoll added, “This is a real problem for Pennsylvania because if he’s not on the floor voting and the Democrats only have that one-seat majority as it is, but he’s clearly not able to be in the Senate representing the interests of the citizens of Pennsylvania.”
The reporting for this hospitalization mirrors the same lack of information from last May when Fetterman had his initial stroke.
Barkdoll said, “This is going to be an interesting scenario to watch. I’m rooting for him. I hope he gets out. I hope he’s okay, but I think if this goes into several months, you’re going to see increasing pressure, I think even from Democrats, for him to resign, let Shapiro appoint a replacement.”
PA Governor Josh Shapiro would be the one to decide who would fill the seat.
The replacement will not fill out the term. The new Senator would only serve until there’s another special election.
Barkdoll said, “I think this just creates a lot of dilemmas for Democrats and Republicans because if the new Senator’s only in for a year or so, then who do the Republicans run for that open seat? Who does Shapiro appoint that Democrats think could then hold the seat in a special election?”
Ryan said, “I’m just about ready to run down the street screaming with my hair on fire. That’s fabulous news here. I want the guy to get better. I want him to improve. I want him to resign and go mend after this terrible thing that’s happened in his health and the people that are around him that have used him to get to where they are right now, but just imagine that. Just imagine the possibilities of here, you saw what you did with Biden in the basement. You saw what you did with Fetterman in the basement. Can we finally get it right here in Pennsylvania? How about this for a one-two punch? Casey is up soon and he’s a useless idiot and Fetterman if we have a special election here, could we actually get this thing right and flip two seats within the span of a couple of years here? If you think about this chess match, there could be a real come to Jesus moment here with Pennsylvania going you know what? We have made terrible mistakes and put Josh Shapiro, park him with a couple of Republicans here in Pennsylvania? Oh, the whole thing smells just wonderful.”
Barkdoll noted, “I said last year, very openly during that whole election cycle, we had two bad candidates. Dr. Oz was a bad candidate. John Fetterman was a bad candidate, but this primary process, it seems to be these are the kind of candidates that are emerging from these elections. Dave McCormick would have been a much stronger candidate for the Republicans and I think Conor Lamb would have been a much stronger candidate for the Democrats.”
McCormick is making indications that he might run next year against Bob Casey for that Senate seat.
Barkdoll said, “There is this wild scenario if Fetterman were to resign, if the timing of it were such, you actually could have two open Senate seats next year. It would be unprecedented in Pennsylvania.”
With the one-seat majority the Democrats have in the Senate, that’s where the pressure could come for Fetterman.
Barkdoll said, “If he’s out for two months and what if that turns into three months? Or four months? The Democrats have no room for error in the Senate if it would be back to a 50/50 scenario with Fetterman out. There’s where I think you could start to see some just real political pressure on the Democrats. Hey somebody needs to do something here. This guy can’t just stay absent endlessly because we need that vote.”