As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

PA-Sen: Hints and Allegations

Arlen Specter, clearly worried by a potential matchup with Joe Sestak, has started to use his cash reserves to bang away at the Democratic Rep's voting record.

And Specter sent out his golden boy Ed Rendell to mock Sestak's chances.

Joe, you're needed in the House. It's a difficult seat for the Democrats to hold without Joe Sestak running again. His chances of unseating Arlen Specter againt the wishes of an extremely popular president, at least for the Democratic voters, a vice-president who has tremendous impact in the southeastern part of the state, a governor, Sen. Casey -- all those elected officials, the mayor of Philadelphia, Mike Nutter, the county executive of Allegheny County...

To battle those forces when you're not even -- Joe Sestak doesn't even have good name recognition in neighboring Philadelphia. Arlen Specter's been a houshold word for thirty years. I think it's a tremendous uphill fight and i think it could -- it will -- cost Joe his seat in the House and may cost the Democratic party what would be a safe seat.

I liked Sestak's response to Specter - "Pennsylvanians would have been better off if Arlen Specter had missed a lot more votes over the past eight years instead of voting for George Bush's failed economic policies, an ill-conceived war in Iraq, and permitting the cost of college to be out of reach of so many of our families." He also attributed a lot of his personal voting record to the problems military members have with absentee ballots, something Specter himself actually co-sponsored in a bill to fix.

As for Rendell, Sestak handled that well too.

Joe Sestak has great respect for Governor Rendell -- but we have to ask ourselves, what would happen if our leaders only stood up to challenges when the odds were in their favor? That isn't the spirit that created this nation, led Barack Obama to the Oval Office, or allowed Ed Rendell to become Governor of Pennsylvania when everyone said a Mayor of Philadelphia could never win.

What will happen if only those from what the establishment deems "safe seats" are advised to run for higher office? Where will the audacity come from, if not from those who have demonstrated the ability to galvanize a constituency against the odds? Political calculation is not what put the Democrats in power, and it isn't what's going to keep us there. The people are looking for leaders of conviction, not convenience.

The latest Q-poll still shows long odds for Sestak, but the news isn't great for Specter either - Pat Toomey now ties him statewide. At this point in the campaign, I think Sestak is in a decent place.

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