Potter's post described a new attack ad by Arlen Specter:
Not for nothing is Arlen Specter known as a fierce campaigner. This morning, I caught his latest attack ad (viewable here) on Democratic rival Joe Sestak.It is a pretty sleazy attack, if you ask me.
The ad refers to Sestak as "No-Show Joe," citing some 127 votes he's missed in Congress. (Team Specter has even helpfully crafted a Web site on the matter.) It also attacks Sestak at the very heart of his campaign -- by challenging his military service.
Specter's ad notes that Sestak, a three-star admiral in the U.S. Navy, was removed from a command post for creating a "poor command climate."
In any event, with a little digging, we find a little more to this story. From a blog at the NYTimes, we find a link to this piece at the Philadelphia Inquirer where we read:
In 2001, as a two-star admiral, he was assigned by his mentor Adm. Vern Clark, the top officer in the Navy at the time, to revamp the Navy for the future. Clark and Sestak believed in a more nimble, sleeker Navy to fight terrorism. Sestak scoured the budgets and proposed deep cuts to the fleet, using computer technology to link fewer ships more effectively.That's what was meant by "poor command climate" I guess.
The plans struck fear around the E-Ring, where Sestak was also earning a reputation for driving his 100-member planning staff hard. He would show up sometimes at 4 a.m. and stay until 9 or 10 p.m. He was infamous for calling staff meetings at 9 p.m. on Friday and demanding that everyone return by 10 a.m. Saturday.
In July 2005, Adm. Mike Mullen, now Obama's Joint Chiefs chairman, took over as the chief of naval operations and, on his first day, relieved Sestak of his post, citing "poor command climate."
Clark, in an interview, said he now worries he did not do enough to protect his protege.
"He did what I asked him to do; I wanted straight talk, and this put him in the crosshairs," Clark said. "People are going to say what they want to say, but he challenged people who did not want to be challenged. The guy is courageous, a patriot's patriot."
Indeed, the Navy is slowly moving toward a smaller fleet, as Clark and Sestak envisioned.
Arlen's a sleaze - there, I said it.