How not to win friends in high places, Sestak style
Sestak has not exactly made a lot of friends in high places with his Don Quixote-kike mission to topple the long-term incumbent – but newly minted Democrat –Arlen Specter.
This week things heated up even more when both camps rolled out their first TV ads. Specter is going negative, with a piece blasting Sestak for his attendance record, referring to him as “no-show Joe.” But that’s not what has really gotten under Sestak’s skin.
It’s the inference in the ad that Sestak was “relieved of duty in the Navy for creating a poor command climate.”
Sestak, who retired from the Navy as an admiral, is not amused. Neither is a bunch of vets who back him. They’ve called on Specter to pull the ad. That’s not likely to happen.
But Sestak isn’t done. He’s taking his message to the top. Or at least the next rung down. Sestak has called on Vice President Joe Biden to repudiate the ad, which Sestak likens to the “Swift Boat” campaign used against Sen. John Kerry. Biden has opposed such tactics. Now Sestak is calling on him to be true to his word.
All of which takes this campaign full circle. You might remember Biden, the longtime senator from Delaware, was driving the welcome wagon when Specter made his infamous party switch last spring.
He was joined by President Barack Obama and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.
Sestak had been approached to run before Specter’s switch. After it, everyone expected him to step aside. They thought wrong. Sestak has been rubbing the party bigwigs the wrong way ever since.
It will be interesting to see if Biden reacts, and if he has anything to say about the Specter ad.
One thing’s for sure: Sestak is doing this his way. He might not have many friends left in the party when this is over. Then again, if he wins, and dumps Specter, all will be forgotten.
That’s why they say politics makes strange bedfellows.