Sestak = Michael Scott?

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Kevin Ferris makes a unique argument in today’s column. He says since winning the May primary, Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak has adopted the persona of lovable-but-bumbling Dunder-Mifflin regional manager Michael Scott.

He writes:

Start with the attacks on Toomey as a big spender during his time in Congress, from 1999 to 2005. A flier handed out by Sestak’s folks at a recent Toomey news conference pointed out that there was a $125 billion surplus when Toomey first took office, but a $412 billion deficit when he left. Devastating, right?

Republicans did spend irresponsibly during the Bush years when they controlled both Congress and the White House. But while Toomey is an unabashed promoter of tax cuts in order to spur economic growth, he also took a hard line on spending. For example, he was one of only 25 Republicans who voted against the $400 million Medicare prescription-drug program in 2003.

But let’s use Sestak’s reasoning and look at his side’s spending record. In 2007, when Sestak went to Washington with the new Democratic majorities in Congress, the deficit was $160 billion. This year’s projected deficit is $1.5 trillion, almost 10 times what it was when Sestak took office. So you’d think Sestak would keep quiet on spending, or at least have a good explanation for his votes in favor of trillions in bailouts, stimulus, and record budgets and deficits. Apparently not.

Sestak will, in fact, be in Scott’s hometown of Scranton on Tuesday. But he’s not there to shop for office paper. Instead, he’s campaigning with former President Bill Clinton.

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About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

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