A veteran political observer's take on the critical Pat Toomey-Joe Sestak Senate race of 2010
Inside a Key Senate Campaign
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Harold I. Gullan
The 2010 Pennsylvania Senate election provided high drama from the electrifying primary season elimination of long-time incumbent Arlen Specter right through the hotly contested general election battle between relative newcomers Pat Toomey and Joe Sestak. Their battle featured not only a close, down-to-the wire race, but represented a case study of the political divide that characterizes contemporary American politics. Yet, despite the close race and the wide divergence in views, both candidates largely ran a civil campaign.
Veteran writer Hal Gullan obtained special access to the Toomey campaign early in the primary season. The result of that privileged perspective, Toomey's Triumph offers both an inside look at and a Philadelphian's reflections on a riveting election. Gullan's astute month-by-month narrative distills the events of the year-long battles through the high drama and the day-to-day grind of grassroots organizing and campaigning. He relates where the candidates appeared, what they said, and how the media pundits responded to their various gambits. He makes wry observations on the efficacy of each candidate's campaign ads and strategies and offers insightful analyses of the ups and downs of the polls.
Toomey's Triumph provides an engaging chronicle of a critical campaign.
"With access to the Pat Toomey camp’s daily doings, Hal Gullan gives readers an insider’s take on why Toomey had the right stuff in ideas, organization, and character to scare Arlen Specter out of the Republican Party and to take down Joe Sestak in one of the most-watched Senate races in 2010. Toomey’s Triumph is a campaign biography in the old style—never afraid, sometimes opinionated and even partisan, and always perceptive about what counts in winning, or losing, a big election. Gullan brings us to the reporters’ roundtable, where we want to stay."
"In Toomey’s Triumph, Hal Gullan expounds and displays his own considerable political knowledge and his honed insights as a dedicated student and perpetually interested observer of American politics—especially Philadelphia and Pennsylvania politics. His analysis, absent of ideological judgment or weight, is deftly drawn and skillfully placed within historical context. Gullan’s humorous, often genuinely enlightening commentaries are enhanced by an admirably fluid and lively conversational writing style. Toomey’s Triumph is a strikingly high-minded view of the election and of the two contenders."
Preface: Where I’m Coming From