Living in the state where the entire election's fate might rest — can’t say I would recommend it! As a Pennsylvania resident, grim political ads, frequent campaign rallies, and national reporters touring small towns like a safari are just par for the course. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris grasp its importance to the race, by closing out the campaign with a few stops in the state on Monday, including an evening drive-in rally with Lady Gaga in Pittsburgh. Perhaps as a final Hail Mary, President Trump’s campaign has suggested Biden’s event with “anti-fracking activist” Lady Gaga portends “financial Armageddon” for PA families.
Gaga, who backed Yoko Ono’s “Artists Against Fracking” initiative in 2012, was as perplexed as anyone that her opposition to fracking would come up days before the election. “HEY TIM HEY @realDonaldTrump SO HAPPY IM GLAD TO BE LIVING RENT FREE in your HEAD,” she wrote on Twitter. Gaga attached a video with stickers and text overlaid to poke at the Trump campaign’s dire statement about her. (“Also, what is a fracking?”)
That reaction isn’t uncommon to Pennsylvania residents, who national pundits would have you believe are single-issue fracking voters. A marginal-at-best industry that amounts to just 26,000 jobs in the state, the Trump campaign has drastically inflated its importance to voters. During a September rally in western Pennsylvania, he falsely claimed that there are 940,000 natural gas jobs in the state — an inflation of nearly 3,500%.
Trump’s closing argument — which consists of rallying in places he carried easily last time and grousing about being there, with a side of leaving elderly supporters out on the cold tarmac without shuttle transport — has oddly honed in on fracking as a sort of gotcha for Vice President Biden. Long considered a politically risky move to abandon fracking in the state, a CBS poll from this August found that a slight majority of the state is against fracking. Nevermind the polling figures — Biden recently doubled down on allowing existing fracking permits to continue and not banning on private land. He’d just restrict new oil and gas permits on public land.
However, the Trump War Room Twitter account tweeted on Monday that Biden and Lady Gaga will BAN local fracking jobs:
This kind of thing carries the same tenor as every negative anti-Biden attack ad — he’s a puppet for socialists and the radical left, and WILL ban fracking — buddy, if only! He’s exactly the guy he’s always been — a hardline moderate who’s just as likely to punch left as he does right. While it’s amusing to imagine Lady Gaga serving as Secretary of Energy in a Biden administration, crafting a fracking ban on day one, it almost rivals Chromatica in utopian delusion.