How not to win friends in high places, Sestak style

You get the feeling Joe Sestak is starting to enjoy jabbing his party’s leaders in the eye.

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.


Anonymous said…
Phil, you would think that since over four years has passed since Sestak came on the scene, the Daily Times would have looked into this issue. This came up as an issue in 2006 and 2008 and it is coming up again. Isn't his fair ground to look at, since Sestak grounds so much of his qualifications on his leadership service in the Navy? Don't you and your reporters have a responsibility to nail this down? How about asking Sestak to exactly explain the circumstances of his firing, perhaps on the record in one of those hostage-type videos you guys do in your conference room. Has anyone from the Daily Times made even one Freedom of Information Act Request? It is simply not good enough, after four years, to treat this as some vague rumor.
navvet50 said…
Phil,when you interview Sestak please ask who offered the bribe and what was he offered?How did this man get a security clearance with his marxist proclivities? When i was in the navy rooting for the other side was frowned on.Right now our country needs men of honor to stand up.This nan is an embarrassment to all of us that served in the navy and a political opportunist of the worst kind.