Congress hopeful delivers speech to College Democrats

Matthew Minnella

On Tuesday, Villanova College Democrats held their first meeting of the year in Bartley Hall.

Admiral Joe Sestak, the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania’s Seventh Congressional District, attended the meeting and spoke about his military career and campaign for office in the upcoming November election.

Sestak began his speech to the students in attendance by giving a brief summary of his life and military career.

He was raised in Springfield, Pa., not far from the University. Sestak’s father was an immigrant from Slovakia who later entered the United States Naval Academy. Sestak, like his father, entered the Academy in 1974 and spent 31 years in the Navy.

The idea of “sacrificing for the greater good” is what Sestak said drew him to the military.

The Navy paid for him to attend Harvard University, where he earned a Ph.D. in political economy and government.

Under the Clinton administration, Sestak served as the director of defense policy.

As a part of the National Security Council, Sestak was, according to his campaign website, “responsible for national security and defense strategy, policies, programs, interagency and congressional coordination and regional political/military advice.”

Sestak told the students an anecdote that embodied what he felt was the important idea of American initiative.

Before a trip to Normandy, France, Pres. Clinton requested to speak with surviving soldiers from the Battle of Normandy, as well as historians of the battle.

It was here that noted historian Stephen Ambrose spoke about the young soldiers who, without their commanders, were able to overcome the German defenses and successfully take control of the beach at Normandy.

Concerning the upcoming election, Sestak explained his vision for the future of America, emphasizing that its leaders are accountable for their actions and decisions.

Following his address to the students, Sestak fielded questions from the audience.

He said that if he is elected, his top priority would be universal healthcare, where there is a shared responsibility among all citizens.

His position on the issue stems from his experience meeting a young boy who was diagnosed with cancer, but unable to afford medical treatment. Concerning the war in Iraq, the career naval officer said he felt the war was a tragic mistake.

Sestak favors a deliberate timetable for leaving Iraq following the Congressional elections. He also said that the military effort in Iraq has left the United Stated vulnerable to other foreign threats, including Iran and North Korea.

Sestak is facing incumbent Curt Weldon, who has held the Seventh Congressional seat for 20 years.

The election will be held on Nov. 7.