The most exciting race in the upcoming Democratic primary has to be the battle for the Senate.
Everybody that discusses the Senate race refers to Specter's fame. Everyone is supposed to know Specter inside and out because of his long history in the senate. However, if you've moved to Pennsylvania since the last time he was up for election, maybe you (like me) don't know much about him.
Arlen Specter is the incumbent and the longest serving Senator in Pennsylvania. He made waves last year when he switched parties from Republican to Democrat after his vote on the Stimulus bill made him a pariah. Not many politicians have the guts to do that, and it's earned him quite a bit of friends at the top-level of the Democratic party. Most notably President Obama is a staunch supporter of Specter. Since his party switch, he has voted with the Democratic party 95% of the time, but he also has a history of taking a stance against Republicans, criticizing President Clinton's impeachment and President Bush's wiretapping of US citizens. He supports a woman's right to choose, gay rights, and has other liberal leanings. However, he historically voted with the Republican party including voting for the Iraq war (along with 29 of the 50 Democratic Senators that were in office at the time).
Honestly, Joe Sestak strikes me as a bit smarmy. He's a little too-polished for my liking. I like that he has a history of being a democrat, and his platform is clearly resonating in Pennsylvania as he is jumping leaps and bounds in the polls. Sestak is currently a Congressman from the Eastern part of the state looking to move up the ladder. Politically, he supports Roe v. Wade, received an F from the National Rifle Association, and has voted with the Democratic majority on the Stimulus Act and Health Care Reform amongst many others.
Either way, the winner will ultimately face off against the Republican, Pat Toomey. Much of the fear and hoopla about this senate race involves who will be the better Toomey opponent. This smacks to me a lot of old politics. When Hillary Clinton was facing Barack Obama, I heard a lot of the same rhetoric. That they shouldn't slash each other, that Clinton would make a better McCain opponent, but happily, we all know how that turned out. So I'm not going to let that influence my decision.
But honestly, I'm torn. I admire Specter's long history as an independent thinker in the Senate, and given his senior status he holds many choice committee positions. I also like listening to him talk. But Sestak is obviously the classic Democrat who in general lines up with my ideals more closely. However, Sestak is a current Congressman who can continue to serve the party admirably in that capacity.
Whoever wins the Democratic primary election, I will gladly vote for him in the November election against the slime-ball Pat Toomey who wants to amend the US Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, disagrees with Roe V Wade, and much more.
How are you voting?