The elaborate square dance in the Senate race over Joe Sestak's military career continues today.
Sestak's 31-year Navy career has been a major part of the Democrat's sales pitch this year, and in a recent ad juxtaposed that military service to opponent Pat Toomey's former career on Wall Street.
Toomey hit back today with the endorsement of former Navy Secretary John Lehman."Pat is a man of principle and integrity," said Lehman, in a statement issued by the Toomey camp. "His commitment to the principles of limited government, individual freedom, and personal liberty are unwavering. Pat has tremendous respect for our armed services and a great love for this country. I know he will always put the security of our country first. I look forward to helping him win his race in November."
"I am honored by Secretary Lehman's visit to our State Capitol this morning and I'm grateful to have his endorsement," Toomey said. "Secretary Lehman and I share the belief that a strong military requires a strong economy. Congressman Sestak has taken positions on key national security and economic policies that are well outside the mainstream – even among most Democrats – and have hurt Pennsylvania.
The Sestak camp replied with the kind of do-si-do you regularly see when military service is involved in politics (as long as you're not named John Kerry) -- a bow to Lehman's military service, followed by an attack on another part of the man's history. (Toomey has done the same with Sestak, tiptoeing around his Navy service while targeting him on his support Pelosi/Obama/Health Care Reform, etc.)
Here, the Sestak camp says Toomey is actually getting another endorsement from Wall Street:
Former Navy Secretary John Lehman served honorably under the Reagan Administration, and as a Naval Reservist. But as a longtime investment banker, including chairman of a private equity investment firm in New York, board member of a number of conservative think tanks, and part of Presidential campaigns for George W. Bush and Sam Brownback, Secretary Lehman's stances on key issues have consistently placed him, like Congressman Toomey, to the right of mainstream Republicans.
On the other hand, mailers released this week by the Democratic-leaning veterans organization VoteVets use no subtlety whatsoever. They make an outlandish comparison between Toomey and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying the pair are both beholden to foreign oil. Here's a picture of the door hangers (which the group describes as "blistering") -- the vets group began distributing this week, with a target of hitting 100,000 doors statewide:
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