Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll has apologized:
Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll issued a contrite apology Monday to the widow of a fallen Marine from Westwood, saying she didn’t mean to offend his family by attending his funeral, giving her business card to his aunt and speaking against the war in Iraq.
The apology came after hundreds of outraged people from Pennsylvania and across the country swamped Knoll’s and Gov. Ed Rendell’s offices with phone calls and e-mails, many demanding Knoll’s resignation or impeachment and others faulting the governor for telling the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the state takes no position on the war…
Goodrich’s sister-in-law, Rhonda Goodrich, of Indiana County, who had asked for the apology, said she was satisfied that public pressure caused Knoll’s office to issue the letter, but she had hoped it would also include an apology to all Marines and others in military service.
Knoll, 74, of McKees Rocks, left Rhonda Goodrich a telephone message Sunday night, apologizing and explaining that as a mother and grandmother she opposes all war, Goodrich said.
“I’m still bitter, but if she apologized, that’s what I asked for,” Rhonda Goodrich said. “I wanted her called out on this, and I wanted people to know that she’s against the war — and if they’re all against the war, why are we fighting and people are dying? It’s a big political move. If it hadn’t gotten all this attention, I’m sure we’d never have heard anything.”
Add that to to Rendell’s apology, and the initial reports, and there is no doubt in my mind that Knoll did what was initially reported. Besides being political suicide, it was crass, opportunistic, mean, and offensive. Shame on her.
Gerry Daly passes on this piece about Lt. Gov. Knoll and political problems she is facing other than this situation of her own creation:
Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll made history nearly two years ago when she became the first woman to ascend to the state’s No. 2 spot.
But she has become an isolated and eccentric figure who may well end up being dropped by Gov. Ed Rendell when he seeks re-election two years from now, former staffers and top Rendell administration officials say.
Knoll burns through staff at an alarming rate, requires extensive coaching to preside over the state Senate and periodically infuriates top senators within her own Democratic Party.
And she has also paid a high-priced speech coach in part to break her of the habit of introducing Rendell at public events as the 1940s gangster movie actor Edward G. Robinson.
A public servant and politician for 34 years, Knoll is viewed as a political figurehead who jealously guards her limited authority and has little contact with the rest of the administration.
Apologies were the order of the day Monday. But the damage was done and the egg on the face is thick.
The best public service Knoll could perform would be to not seek re-election. As for Rendell, he could use a class in thinking before speaking.
I am not going to hold Rendell responsible for Knoll’s bizarre and unfair behavior, but Knoll needs to be pushed aside. And while skepticism is warranted in any case, it looks like Rhonda Goodrich was straightforward from the beginning.