State Party Says Jump. Voters Say... Pass the Popcorn.

Ed Rendell, last year:

Gov. Rendell thinks that Sestak would "get clobbered" in next year's Democratic primary, ticking off the reasons why Sestak has "practically no chance" against Specter, who is well-known across the state and likely will have an inexhaustible supply of campaign cash.

"What in God's name is he doing?" Rendell exclaimed.

TJ Rooney, chair of the Democratic party, in January:

Rooney, who's backing Specter, said it would be a "travesty" to lose Sestak in Congress. He said he also believes Specter has proven his Democratic bona fides since jumping to the party last year.

"Looking specifically at the poll numbers, Sestak has picked up no momentum," Rooney said. "He's actually fallen behind ... if Joe Sestak were to run for re-election to Congress, he'd win."

TJ Rooney, last week:

The chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party issued a stern warning to members of his party this week, declaring that nominating Rep. Joe Sestak over Sen. Arlen Specter could have "cataclysmic" consequences for the party's ability to hold the Senate seat this fall.

As polls show Sestak, a second-term House member from the Philadelphia suburbs, cutting Specter's advantage to single digits, Chairman T.J. Rooney told POLITICO in an interview that "if we want to keep this seat in Democratic hands, the only person capable of delivering that victory is Arlen Specter."
"I can't say, honest and true, if the shoe's on the other foot, that we'll have the same race in November," Rooney said. "The results could be cataclysmic."

On a personal level, I have some affection for Arlen Specter. His personality vaguely reminds me of my late grandfather, who was one my favorite people in the world. So, frankly, I feel for him. But, still, this was a great night, and I take away a few things from it:

First, in races like this, where candidates are on TV a lot, the endorsement of various groups, and especially various politicians just doesn't matter that much.

Second, it is hard for long time Republicans to win Democratic primaries. That sounds obvious, but, I never got why anyone seemed to miss that point. Yes, Democrats had affection for Specter- but, that was when he was a Republican that we could occasionally count on to do something good, and to annoy his party. But, once you switch parties, you will be evaluated under a much different light. That happened, especially when Sestak did what we knew he would do- remind everyone that just six years ago, Bush and Santorum knew that they could "count on" him.

Now, we have Sestak. He is far from perfect, but he would be a pretty good Senator. And he is up against someone who has a view of government and the world that truly needs to be highlighted. It is time for all hands on deck.

Great job to us average Dems!

If Specter abandoned his Republican-ness because he wasn't sure he would win against Toomey in a primary, what the heck does the Dem party think in backing Specter against Toomey in November?

It will be a big Senate battle for sure in November, but at least in Joe Sestak we went with someone who would stand up and fight for the seat on his own terms.

Get Neil Oxman in a room with video of Pat Toomey

extolling deregulation of financial services and the economic wisdom of George W. Bush.

Make this a referendum on the Club For Growth.

Hell, make it a referendum on Bush v. Obama.

Get Sestak enough money to expose the weakness of his opponent, and he'll win.

Sestak's video torpedoes should look something like this

Imagine this, with archival footage of Toomey calling for bank deregulation on the stump, or for ending Social Security and Medicare with Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh.

Tie a teabag around the neck of Pat Toomey

and let him hang himself.

PA teabaggers can help Sestak and us from now until November because they can expose Toomey for the right wing nut he is, and they can expose the basic nuttiness of far right-wing ideology.

I love it when the consensus is dumb

I've been on a lot of calls with national people saying how they just weren't taking Sestak seriously. I would say, "You gotta understand Sestak. He's a machine."
I'd get my head patted over the phone.
National people, often, looking at only the most surface info, that is, polls, often pretend like they are so much more sophisticated.

Cases like this show that there is nothing like eyes on the ground.

This is a great story. Upsets are rare, but I love a good upset. Go Sestak!

---
This Too Will Pass, for the guts in your cerebrum.

Good Sestak analysis in the Times

If you were close to Delaware County during the last two elections, especially in 2006 when he beat Curt Weldon, it was hard to think of Sestak as an "upstart;" but I guess if you're running against a 30 year incumbent, you're going to seem like an upstart.

Katharine Q. Seelye, Jim Rutenberg, and Jeff Zeleny write a good, even-handed story.

Interesting: one reason the president didn't campaign at the end for Senator Specter is because David Axelrod concluded Sestak would be the stronger candidate in November against Pat Toomey.

Sestak's election

I didn't vote for either fella, so i just want to get that out there first.

That said, it is DELICIOUS to see the Sestak victory, because if nothing else can be said, the guy humiliated the PA Democratic establishment. And they deserved it: if it was up to TJ Rooney, we wouldn't have had a primary at all. Our candidate would have been picked for us.

if i wanted to live in the Soviet Union, I'd go buy a time machine.

That alone is reason to celebrate.

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