Journalist David Sirota, who knew Montgomery Countian Josh Shapiro as a young basketball teammate, profiled the current Pa. Gov.-Elect for Rolling Stone. The piece referenced Shapiro’s deep-seated competitiveness and his political skill in choosing — and framing — battles carefully.
One preelection campaign rally surprisingly saw the candidate connecting solidly with voters.
Surprising because its its setting was in Western Pa.
Donald Trump territory.
Shapiro’s resonating message, however, was universally appealing and evocative of his past interest in sports: get off the sidelines and into the game.
The toned-down rhetoric was well positioned, painting Shapiro as a Ted Lasso-ish optimist, battling against understandable foes like predatory student loan issuers and opiate-pushing drug profiteers.
It’s a strong suit for Shapiro, theorized Sirota, an ability to air issues, identify villains, ease the pain points, and champion the average citizen — without condescension.
The strategy has paid off in Shapiro’s rising-arc political career:
- Chief of Staff for Congressman Joe Hoeffel
- Pa. House of Representatives member
- Montgomery County Commissioner
- Pa. Attorney General
- Govenor-Elect of Pa.
Those on the receiving end of that battle spirit have been high-profile figures brought low, including opiate-peddling pharmaceutical companies, predatory 3-D gun printers, and pedophilic Catholic priests.
Shapiro’s inability to stay on the sidelines is occasionally evident at home as well.
According to Sirota, Lori Shapiro (Josh’s wife) often puts the kibosh on pickup basketball games in the driveway with his kids.
He’s too focused on winning, she said.
And as election results showed, she knows her husband well.
More on Josh Shapiro’s past — and future — is at Rolling Stone.
Josh Shapiro’s Nov. 8 acceptance speech in Oaks.