Yesterday, he was in Coraopolis:
He started the walk on March 4:
Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak formally launched his long-expected challenge to Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey Wednesday, setting up a possible rematch in one of Democrats’ best pick-up opportunities.Apart from anything else, kinda shows a deep level of commitment if a Navy guy
During an announcement outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Sestak said he is running to “restore the trust deficit,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. After showing up in a pair of old sneakers, Sestak vowed to walk across the state in a pair of Army boots — to walk symbolically in the shoes of Pennsylvanians.
The walking trip was punctuated by 2 dozen stops along the way, each with a different topic of discussion. For example, yesterday his talk in Coraopolis centered around the environment and green energy. On March 16, he was in Cumberland County discussing education. On the 9th it was Chester County discussing women's issues. And so on.
Yesterday's discussion was with a dozen or so potential supporters. Though I have to add that Sestak, with a sincere grin, also welcomed to the room a guy named Ollie, who he said was the tracker assigned to cover the event by the Toomey campaign. Nice guy - after the event, he and I joked about how it was snowing outside. If yesterday's discussion is any indication, Sestak is looking to contrast his record with Senator Toomey's.
And the phrase "Hold me accountable." was repeated a number of times.
For example, Sestak spent a large chunk of his time contrasting Toomey's assertion that "we all want clear air and clean water." with, for example Toomey's cosponsoring of legislation which, according to Sestak's campaign material, "prohibits the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change."
This would be Senator Inhofe's Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.
In order to dispel any ambiguity, here's the first sentence of the bill:
To amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change, and for other purposes.And it defines "greenhouse gas" as any of the following:
- Water vapor.
- Carbon dioxide.
- Nitrous oxide.
- Sulfur hexafluoride.
- Any other substance subject to, or proposed to be subject to, regulation, action, or consideration under this Act to address climate change.
Sestak also pointed out something we've already blogged on - Toomey's contrasting votes on climate science:
- Toomey voted for an amendment that said that Climate Science was not a hoax
- Toomey voted for an amendment that said that "human activity contributes to climate change."
- Toomey voted against an amendment that said that "human activity significantly contributes to climate change."
Given some recent poll data from Franklin and Marshall:
Senator Toomey currently leads Democrat Joe Sestak by a five point margin, 34% to 29%, although most voters (37%) are still undecided about this race. Joe Sestak’s name recognition is relatively low, with nearly two in three (63%) of the state’s registered voters saying they do not know enough about Sestak to have an opinion of him.And some recent reporting:
Anxious about a candidate considered to be an unreliable maverick and a political liability, Democratic Party leaders have undertaken a quiet, intensive search in recent months to recruit a serious primary challenger to former Rep. Joe Sestak, the party's Senate nominee in 2010 who is again running for Pennsylvania's Senate seat.It seems to me that by walking across the state, Sestak is looking to establish two things; solid grassroot support for his campaign (for both the primary and Senatorial) and to show how utterly different Senator Sestak's record would be from Senator Toomey's.
The effort has involved former congressmen, state senators, county leaders and, recently, even a prominent district attorney. Their anxieties are being driven by party officials, who are concerned that Sestak could cost Democrats a must-win state in 2016.
I'll leave you with a question: who walks 400+ miles in a month
UPDATE: After a phone conversation with the campaign, I have a clarification regarding the boots. Sestak only started the walk with the Army boots. Along the way he's worn sneakers, hiking boots, snow boots and so on. I was going by what I read at RollCall. My apologies but mostly because it kinda kills my joke. I did get some more info on the walk itself. Sestak walked the complete 422 miles over the 25 days. If he had to stop for some reason (for example to travel to a radio station for an interview) a marker would be put down in order for him to return to the same spot on the route that he left. Army boots or no, that's still impressive.