Shapiro says he’s made a concerted effort to visit “forgotten” counties in rural Pennsylvania.
Shapiro’s brisk schedule, clashes with Trump, and courting of the media suggest a grand design.
Shapiro oversees about 800 employees and a million budget.
At age 44, he has risen from Capitol Hill staffer (he traveled to China and the Middle East as a foreign policy adviser) to state representative (he brokered a deal in 2006-07 to elect the House speaker) to chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners to one of the commonwealth’s five statewide-elected officials.
Since Trump’s inauguration, attorneys general have “probably” become “the most important elected officials in our democracy,” Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general, said during a panel appearance at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
The statement may have been self-serving, but, at least to the progressive left, it had a kernel of truth.
“Loyalty is not his strong suit.” Hoeffel, though, praised Shapiro as hardworking, and other Shapiro supporters said the criticism was unfair. Shapiro campaigned with Hillary Clinton, but Trump’s election almost certainly elevated his profile.
Just as Republican attorneys general used their power to fight President Barack Obama tooth and nail, Democrats are now using litigation to try to block Trump’s immigration restrictions and rollback of the Obama regulatory apparatus.
Ed Rendell, a Democrat who also parlayed a prosecutor’s job into higher office.On Tuesday, for example, he stopped at the Harrisburg Patriot-News for an interview, made his way to Philadelphia for a vigil for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, then headed to Washington to testify the next morning before a Senate panel about scams against senior citizens.Shapiro promised in his campaign last year to clean up the mess left by his Democratic predecessor, Kathleen G.Shapiro chafes at suggestions he plays it safe, saying he has taken a leading role in investigating Equifax for the credit-reporting agency’s data breach, and in suing the Trump administration over its initial travel ban.“I want the office of the Pennsylvania attorney general to be seen as one of the premier AG offices in the country,” he said, adding that litigation was more effective with “broad coalitions.” Asked about his aspirations, Shapiro said he was focused on his current job.
Shapiro is considered a leading contender for governor in 2022.