With the Republican National Convention starting up and big presidential campaign news being made out of allusions to who was born where, the always-entertaining, constructive and positive election season is in full swing.
Western Pennsylvania is certain, like always, to be a popular destination for the presidential and vice presidential candidates. Here's some of the news we see them making here in the months ahead:
Sept. 3: Marching in the city's Labor Day Parade, Vice President Joe Biden lauds the working man's contributions to the nation's greatness while denouncing Bain Capital as a greater enemy to the American way of life than anything seen since the death of Stalin.
Sept. 14: Speaking at the weed-covered front gate of an Beaver County steel plant shut down in the 1990s, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney condemns President Barack Obama's handling of the economy, which Mr. Romney blames for the steel industry's failure to revive.
Sept. 20: Attempting to draw a mass of students and other young backers to the Petersen Events Center as he did four years ago, Mr. Obama instead is able to attract a crowd of just 68, most of them his paid staff and media. Struggling for a way to regain the same kind of enthusiasm from first-time voters as he earned in 2008, the president overreaches and promises to personally pay off the student loans of anyone under 30 registering to vote in time for the November election.
Sept. 24: GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan holds a town hall forum in Cranberry, where senior citizens peppering him with questions about his proposals affecting Medicare and Social Security don't like his answers and charge the podium. A press aide, two Secret Service men and three AARP members are injured in the melee.
Oct. 7: Mr. Biden shows up at Heinz Field for a Steelers game and points to the NFL's new use of handheld metal detectors on all fans as an example of how the Obama administration has prevented any successful new attacks by terrorists on American soil. He earns bigger applause from the crowd -- and gains a few votes for the Democratic ticket -- when he suits up on the offensive line vs. the Eagles and plays a couple of series without drawing a single false-start penalty.
Oct. 11: The first of the presidential debates is held at the new California University of Pennsylvania Convocation Center, where the candidates battle in excruciating detail over the president's birth certificate and Mr. Romney's tax returns and whether any of them are authentic or germane. When moderator Anderson Cooper tries to bring the discussion back to the national debt, the war in Afghanistan and the large role played by the Chinese in the American economy, the candidates throw up their hands and walk off.
Oct. 13: Mr. Ryan joins an anti-abortion protest on the sidewalk outside a Downtown Pittsburgh abortion clinic, accusing the staff there of being bad people undermining the region's chances of long-term population growth, although he offers to take them all out to lunch at Chick-fil-A if they're willing to quit their jobs today.
Oct. 19: With polls showing the race to be a dead heat in both Pennsylvania and nationally, the Obama campaign begins running ads accusing Mr. Romney of being an elitist prep school bully who grew up to impose a government health insurance program on the innocent people of Massachusetts, all to support a secret Mormon agenda.
Oct. 20: The Romney campaign responds with an ad portraying Mr. Obama as an elitist who only pretends to like basketball and imposed a government health insurance program on the innocent citizens of America, all to support a secret Muslim agenda.
Oct. 29: Mr. Biden has to apologize for the latest of his many highly publicized faux pas in the campaign, in which he attended a Market Square rally for the Pirates and summoned Bucs middle-relief pitcher Daniel McCutchen to the stage to be individually applauded as an MVP candidate, when everyone else knew he was supposed to be recognizing Andrew McCutchen.
Nov. 2: The Romney-Ryan team, as part of a marathon national bus tour making stops in Washington and Westmoreland counties, are swarmed by supporters as they make good on a promise to hand out free handguns to anyone able to show that they have voter ID.
Nov. 6: On Election Day, none of the candidates visits Pittsburgh, and a massive, spontaneous celebration materializes at Point State Park among rejoicing citizens who have not been to the polls yet and have no plans to do so by 8 p.m.
Gary Rotstein: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1255. First Published August 27, 2012 4:00 AM