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Introducing Rep. John Sestak

by Hollis Bernard

 

Approximately 19 Democratic presidential hopefuls are attempting to remove President Donald Trump from the White House in 2020.


 

 

Getting to Know Rep. John Sestak 


Late Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) could not claim the title of maverick by himself during his illustrious career in Congress.


Sen. McCain often went against the Republican Party on things like Obamacare, and former Rep. John Sestak (D-Pa.) likes to believe he fit the description of maverick during his time in Congress as well.


Now, Rep. Sestak hopes his independent streak will resonate with Democratic voters in a crowded field of 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls.


Although Sestak waited until June to announce his candidacy, he did not do so because he doubted his chances of becoming the 46th President of the United States.


He did so because he had to care for his ailing daughter who began her second bout with brain cancer in 2018.


“I just kept watching to make sure my daughter was in a safe harbor,” Sestak explained.


After doctors gave his daughter a clean bill of health, Sestak jumped into the race.


But while his story might pull at heartstrings, will his message stand out amongst a plethora of Democratic presidential candidates, many with more money and name recognition than Sestak?


He rose to fame in 2010 when he defeated longtime United States Senator Arlen Specter in a 2010 Democratic primary upset.


He lost that Senate general election and lost again in 2015.


But those losses have not stopped his desire to serve in an elected office.


On healthcare, the former congressman and three-star admiral favors a robust public option.


However, he would ideally favor Medicare for All.


Inspired by his time in the military, Sestak wants to create a national healthcare system, which would employ doctors based on the model from the Veterans Health Administration.


While many of Sestak’s policies have similarities with his Democratic counterparts, his time in the service might differentiate him from his opponents when it comes to foreign policy.


Sestak believes his time at war fighting next to NATO allies and his understanding of America’s adversaries while serving on the National Security Council gives him an understanding of what America faces, globally.


His global understanding even influences his position on climate change and farming.


Sestak sees the world from a global perspective, even including a globe on his presidential campaign logo.


However, Sestak has to resonate with voters on one particular part of the globe before he can take his message to the rest of the globe.


When it comes to climate change, he wants to set a fee for carbon emissions.


Furthermore, he supports the Paris Climate Accord.


As far as the economy is concerned, he wants to add extra support for small businesses, especially minority-owned businesses.


PBS.org reports, “Sestak supports tax incentives to push venture capital funding toward small businesses and startups. He calls for cutting fees for minority-owned businesses on any loans from the Small Business Administration. And he backs more federal support for job training and apprenticeship programs.”


Another way to help the economy in Sestak’s eyes is lowering the cost of a college education.


He would force colleges and universities to limit tuition increases to below the inflation rate.


Additionally, he would alter the way interest on student loans get calculated.


Sestak failed to make the most recent debate at Texas Southern University in Houston and will probably continue to struggle in the polls and amongst donors.


But he hopes that his military experience and his national health system will gain traction before too long.


The aspiring president spent the majority of his professional career in the Navy after graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1974.


John Sestak served 31 years in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets in addition to spending time serving in the Persian Gulf and Europe.


He fought wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, leading the George Washington aircraft carrier battle group.


The George Washington aircraft carrier battle group was a 30-ship international coalition.


Before retiring from the service, Sestak had earned a Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard University, in addition to earning the distinction of becoming a three-star admiral.


John Sestak also has executive political experience, serving in the administration of former President Bill Clinton as the director for defense policy on the National Security Council.


Showing his ability to cross the aisle and work with both major parties for the benefit of the county, John Sestak became the first leader of Deep Blue during the administration of former President George W. Bush.


Deep Blue is a Navy operations group developed to stop terrorism after Sept. 11.


After that, John Sestak was appointed deputy chief of naval operations for warfare requirements and programs.


The presidential candidate hopes that his strong military background will prove to voters he is trustworthy enough to lead the entire country.


“This time I’m running because I honestly believe that it’s time to have someone who can beat Mr. Trump, which we must do,” said Sestak. “But to have someone who people can trust again. Because they know he will be accountable for the people above self, above party, above special interests.”


That statement alone might resonate with many voters because Trump again faces accusations that he “colluded” with a foreign country to help him defeat a potential Democratic rival in a presidential election.


Throughout Trump’s first term, he faced accusations that he colluded with Russia to find dirt on rival Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.


This week, Democrats opened an impeachment inquiry on whether Trump sought a similar arrangement with Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

This article was published on Friday 27 September, 2019.
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