Joe Sestak worked the lunchtime crowd at Pamela's Diner in the Strip today, making his first campaign stop in Pittsburgh since his primary win over Arlen Specter. The guy is an ultra-energetic campaigner -- he had an event in Philadelphia the morning after the primary at 5:45 a.m. -- but something happened today that still marked a first for the two-term Delaware County congressman.
"I've got to be honest," he said to reporters after posing with 10-month-old Samantha Zoe Powers (above), with parents Shawn and Leslie. "I think that's the first baby I've held in my political career."
It was more commonplace for the Democrat to respond to attacks Republican pick Pat Toomey made in Pittsburgh Wednesday (and repeated in a new TV ad) on Sestak for being too radical on matters such as health care reform, bailouts and domestic terror trials. Sestak's response was a preview of what we'll be hearing over the next 5 months:
"I really do believe in helping people and I believe in strict accountability. I learned that in the U.S. Navy," Sestak said." It's sort of like what John F. Kennedy once said. If by liberal, do I care about moving forward, rather than having rigid reactions to any new idea, if by liberal, you mean do I care about ensuring that schools are good, and that we are able to let people keep their homes, then call me a liberal."
"So I'm going to fight every day, whereas Congressman Toomey -- when he was down there [in Congress] supporting George Bush and then headed that large corporate lobbying group Club For Growth -- didn't focus on, and that's the little guy, the guy who has needs and rights, the working families of Pennsylvania. And I will even stand up to my own party establishment, like I did, to work hard for them."
Photo: Tim McNulty's iPhone