It might not have been the most auspicious start to a campaign on Wednesday for Democrat Joe Sestak, whose formal announcement that he’ll try to unseat U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey contained two missteps.
The former Navy admiral, who represented Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District from 2007 to 2011, invited people to donate to his campaign and hear his announcement live online — but his campaign website, JoeSestak.com, was down for scheduled maintenance at the time, locking out potential supporters.
Anyone who tried to log in got the maintenance message and was directed to make donations to ActBlue, a Democratic Party fundraising website that allows donors to choose candidates.
The live-stream to watch Sestak’s campaign kickoff from Philadelphia’s Independence Hall was not functioning.
No one from the campaign could be reached for comment.
The campaign emailed a news release shortly after noon, titled “Admiral Joe Sestak Begins Campaign by Walking Across Pennsylvania.” It explained that Sestak would walk from the state’s border with New Jersey for 422 miles, ending at the border with Ohio.
Then the release misquoted an iconic American novel.
“Standing in front of Independence Hall, Joe said America is about ‘We the People’ and that — quoting Scout from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ — ‘You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.’ Therefore, over the next few weeks, Joe will walk in the shoes of Pennsylvanians he meets along his walk,” it read.
The words about walking in another’s shoes, however, came from the character Atticus Finch, who gave his daughter Scout the advice that helped shape her development in Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning classic.
Sestak, 63, of Delaware County will walk in the combat boots he wore in Afghanistan shortly after the war began, his campaign said. He began his walk with wife Susan and daughter Alex alongside him, from Independence Hall to the city’s Vietnam War memorial.
“When Joe was first running for office several years ago, Alex made a drawing with the words ‘Joe Sestak is walking in your shoes’ written on top of a pair of shoes,” the campaign news release said. “The picture hung on her dad’s office door to remind him every day of the importance of viewing his responsibilities through other people’s eyes.”
Sestak is the only Democrat to announce his candidacy for the May 2016 primary election for Senate. If he becomes the party’s nominee, it would set up a rematch between him and Toomey, a Lehigh Valley Republican to whom Sestak lost in 2010 by 2 percentage points.
To read the entire article by Salena Zito, please click here.