Pennsylvania’s First Lady Hits The Ground Running

Harrisburg Patriot-News

It was easy to miss Governor and Mrs. Corbett in the near-capacity crowd Sunday at The Forum for Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra’s final pops concert of the season.

They didn’t bring an entourage or do a lot of glad-handing. They were merely there as one of the crowd, clapping and smiling at the end of the Broadway tunes with everyone else.

Small gestures such as that go far in the Capital City.

Politicians come to Harrisburg from throughout the state, especially the urban centers of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Many do their workday business and then hit the road to go back home.

But the Corbetts are clearly making Harrisburg their home base, and it’s not going unnoticed.

Mrs. Corbett, in particular, has jumped into the local community with vigor.

Starting on inauguration day, she and the governor toured Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region. And who could forget she had her inaugural ball gown designed by Richard Andries of Hampden Twp.

Since then, she agreed to chair the Girl Scouts of Pennsylvania centennial celebration for 2012 and is working on the Civil War 150th commemoration. She helped open Whitaker Center’s Move It! exhibit in February and was a grand marshal at Harrisburg’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

She even spent a day at The Patriot-News recently to help judge our annual Best & Brightest competition for the region’s top high school seniors, and she is writing a feature article for our upcoming special section “Living in the Midstate.”

All of this besides her duties as chair of the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts.

Mrs. Corbett is building a reputation not as a celebrity but as a strong community member and leader in her own right.

It’s a distinctive role from that of her predecessor. Marjorie Rendell is a well-respected federal appeals court judge, but she was not as active in community endeavors as first lady, especially not in the midstate. She remained mostly in Philadelphia.

Mrs. Corbett is bringing a lot of attention and pride to the work of Pennsylvanians, including those in the Harrisburg area.

Perhaps it helps that she is “one of us,” having roots in Pine Grove, Schuylkill County. Those who meet her often remark how down to earth she is and quick to laugh.

A tip of the hat to Pennsylvania’s first lady. We look forward to seeing her and the governor around town in official and unofficial capacities.

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