Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) is firing back at Gov. Ed Rendell, who has called upon him to drop his primary challenge against Sen. Arlen Specter. Sestak’s spokesman gave a statement to Greg Sargent, casting Sestak as the underdog taking on the establishment:
Joe Sestak has great respect for Governor Rendell — but we have to ask ourselves, what would happen if our leaders only stood up to challenges when the odds were in their favor? That isn’t the spirit that created this nation, led Barack Obama to the Oval Office, or allowed Ed Rendell to become Governor of Pennsylvania when everyone said a Mayor of Philadelphia could never win.
What will happen if only those from what the establishment deems “safe seats” are advised to run for higher office? Where will the audacity come from, if not from those who have demonstrated the ability to galvanize a constituency against the odds? Political calculation is not what put the Democrats in power, and it isn’t what’s going to keep us there. The people are looking for leaders of conviction, not convenience.
The people of Pennsylvania don’t want to hear that someone won’t face a challenge because it will be too difficult. We should demand more from our leaders.