An hour with Joe Sestak

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 3/20/16

A few days ago I attended a fundraiser for US Senate candidate Joe Sestak. Sestak, you will recall, represented the 7th PA district (including part of Chester County) in Congress for 4 years. In 2010 he ran for US Senate, beat former Republican Arlen Specter in the primary, but narrowly lost to Pat Toomey in the year of Tea Party triumph. Now he is running again in a four-way Democratic primary to get another shot at Toomey.

I have been to many events with Sestak over the years, and each one is a new learning experience. He is a confident and gripping speaker who has given countless talks and made endorsement appearances for other candidates in Chester County (he is from Delaware county), and has also taught at Carnegie Mellon University, Dickinson School of Law, and Cheney University, among others.

I didn’t know this, from Wikipedia, but certainly am not surprised:

In 1974, Sestak graduated second in his class of over 900 midshipmen, with a Bachelor of Science degree in American political systems.

This I did know:

Between tours at sea, Sestak earned a Master of Public Administration and a Ph.D. in political economy and government from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1980 and 1984, respectively.

And this I didn’t: Upon being told of Sestak’s planned run for Congress, then Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee head Rahm Emanuel “told Sestak he was not ready for such an election.” Sestak ran anyhow in 2006 and won, faring better than other candidates whom Emanuel did not choose to support. Good for Sestak! Emanuel, now the unpopular Mayor of Chicago, was already at the bottom of my list as White House Chief of Staff (“Three welcome departures,” 10/2/10)….

continue reading at Politics: A View from West Chester

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