Seeking to pick up some steam for the last stretch of his senate bid, Congressman Joe Sestak held a rally at 5 o’clock today in the heart of his 7th District in Media Borough which is the Democrat-sympathetic Delaware County seat.
He was greeted by 25 Republicans and tea party protesters which was not all that much smaller than the pro-Sestak contingent estimated to be about 100 at the time of the speech but included several supporters of other candidates.
Since the Sestak rally was in the empty parking lot of a defunct car dealership — an unwise and poorly planned backdrop for the Democrat — and the speaker stand was about 50 feet away from State Street with its sidewalk dominated by the raucous Republicans most passersby thought the rally was for Pat Toomey, Sestak’s Republican opponent.
At least one young motorist was heard to shout Toomey’s name to the delight of the protesters, who received many thumbs up and honks of support.
Several times angry Sestak supporters came out to confront the crowd. How dare these middle class types protest our hip rally with Springsteen music. How dare they appear to be enjoying themselves.
The protesters in return often drowned out Sestak’s speech by chanting Toomey’s name, or “bailout” or “hey, hey, ho, ho, Admiral Joe has got to go.”
One protester, a Jewish woman, said the Sestak supporters were communists and that she knew this because her mother was one. In fairness, there were a few in Sestak’s crowd who seemed to be decent types who treated their opponents with good humor.
Generally, however, the response was anger, confusion and resentment.
And remember, this occurred in the heart of Sestak country.