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Delusions of White House grandeur

| Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
This handout frame grab image provided by C-SPAN2 shows Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. giving his last speech as senator, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, on the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kerry's last day as senator is Friday as he prepares to become the nation's next secretary of state. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. is at right. (AP Photo/CSPAN2)

Somebody take John Kerry 's temperature. He must have a high fever, because he obviously is hallucinating.

Although he just was confirmed as secretary of State on Tuesday, the Boston Herald reported that the husband of Pittsburgh ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz already is thinking about his next potential job. He thinks he has a chance of being elected president in 2016.

Kerry has “talked to people about (running),” a Democrat operative told the Herald. The former U.S. senator of Massachusetts apparently is convinced that a strong showing at State could bolster his White House chances.

The Herald offered a more realistic perspective.

“Getting there won't be easy,” the newspaper opined in a moment of understatement. “Kerry is still mocked by many Democrats for losing to President GeorgeW. Bush (in 2004), and he would face two serious Democratic opponents: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden.”

Ah, but such hurdles are easily overcome — at least for the hallucinatory.

‘Dok'HOPesTO LEVEL LAVELLE. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl doesn't have to worry about squaring off against just city Councilman Bill Peduto and city Controller Michael Lamb in the Democrat mayoral primary.

He also has to worry about potentially losing one of his council allies, Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle. Last week,Franco “Dok” Harris announced he is seeking Lavelle's seat.

Should Ravenstahl and Lavelle be concerned? Absolutely.

Harris finished second behind Ravenstahl in the 2009 general election and knows how to run a citywide campaign. His father, Franco Harris, is a Hall of Fame Steelers running back. In this town, just that fact might be enough to ensure victory in a council race.

PEDUTO'S WORLD OF WHEELS. Further evidence that Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Pedutois taking his third mayoral bid extremely seriously: He ditched his foreign-made car in favor of domestic wheels.

Peduto, who sported around town in a Mini Cooper during his previous campaigns, now drives a Ford Escape.

Peduto obviously realized the appeal of an American-made vehicle to city voters, or perhaps he just wearied of driving a toot-and-scoot ride that had to be a constant reminder of his political nemesis.

The name of Ravenstahl's young son, of course, isCooper.

MAD MIELE. Latrobe officials and some news reporters have felt the rage of Jennifer Miele, vice president of marketing and communications for Excela Health.

Miele took offense to January reports about Latrobe officials saying they were promised a meeting with Excela executives to discuss the health system's plans for an outpatient care center in Unity Township.

The city and Excela did meet, but not before Miele reportedly chewed out reporters over coverage of Latrobe officials' criticism of Excela. Latrobe officials also got an earful for daring to be critical of Excela.

‘SUPERIOR' CANDIDACY? Republican Steve Toprani, former Washington County district attorney, is reportedly exploring a run for a state Superior Court seat.

The court's Senior Judge John L. Musmanno turned 70 — Pennsylvania's mandatory retirement age for judges — last year.

Another GOP hopeful for the seat is attorney Vic Stabile of Cumberland County, who made an unsuccessful Superior Court run in 2011. Philadelphia Judge Joe Waters, a Democrat, is also rumored to run for the seat.

CONSIDERING A COMEBACK. Scottdale restaurateur Tim Carson — a former Scottdale mayor and Westmoreland County sheriff's deputy who worked as chief deputy in the county Register of Wills Office, is reportedly considering a challenge to Prothonotary Christina O'Brien.

Carson has changed his registration to Republican since he worked under Democrat Earl Keim in the Register of Wills Office. O'Brien, a Democrat, has announced she will seek re-election.

— compiled by Tribune-Review staff

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