June 23, 2019

Lord love the confidence of mediocre white men.

Former congressman Joe Sestak looked at the ballooning Democratic primary race--too large for top candidates to even share a single stage for their first debate this week--and thought to himself, "I need to jump in there."

“What Americans most want today is someone who is accountable to them, above self, above party, above any special interest,” he said in a statement. “I want to be that president who serves the American people the way they deserve to be served.”

Sestak is the 24th Democrat to formally announce a 2020 presidential run. He said in his statement that he delayed the decision so he could be there for his daughter Alex after she was diagnosed with brain cancer this past year.

It's unclear how Sestak views entering the race at this late stage as being "above self," especially with a health crisis as his daughter's. It's also unclear how he thinks he will raise money, especially since it's too late to qualify for the early debates.

Sestak's commitment to being "above party" saw him launching an expensive primary challenge to Kate McGinty in Pennsylvania, hobbling her in the general, where she lost to Republican Pat Toomey.

I know it's trendy in the blogosphere to back 'the outsider' as a change-maker to break up DC inertia. It sounds logical. But Sestak has well-earned reputation as not being a team player. And in a town where nothing gets done without building coalitions, that's a tough nut to break when people in your own party don't particularly like you.

It's also curious to imagine why Sestak, in the middle of such family turmoil, looked at the roster of diverse, progressive candidates already well-established and putting together plans and thought that what the Democratic Party was seeking in the face of the Donald Trump era was another white man with little legislative record or evidence of understanding what the job entails.

But to each his own. I don't imagine that his candidacy will gain much traction, but stranger things have happened.

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