We at Clout are not oblivious to campaign-trail fashion trends.
When retired Navy Adm. Joe Sestak snaps into campaign mode, for instance, we keenly observe his ubiquitous green bomber jacket and speculate about whether it gives him superpowers - such as the ability to campaign non-stop without sleep.
But it was Sestak's footwear that caught everyone's attention Wednesday when he kicked off his U.S. Senate campaign: a pair of ratty, vintage Reebok high-tops, a la Marty McFly.
We posted a photo on Instagram that immediately wound up on the Washington Post website under the headline, "Joe Sestak is running for Senate in 2016. With sneakers from 1987."
Apparently, Sestak, 63, has been wearing these things for years.
A Democratic insider who interviewed for a job in Sestak's congressional office in 2007 says he still can't forget the sight of them.
"I could not keep my eyes off of his Reeboks. Mesmerizing," he said. "I'm still traumatized by the tongues."
We emailed Sestak - who slept in a Northeast Philadelphia church Wednesday night before starting the second day of his statewide walking tour (in boots, btw) - and he got back to us yesterday morning:
"I have worn the same sneakers [or nearly same] since the 80's [Keds before]. I just felt comfortable in them," Sestak wrote. "I bought a few pairs online a few years ago when they were harder to get. Now I am to my last pairs [go on eBay and you can buy a used pair for $500!]. No way, my wife says :)"
So why those sneaks?
"I like them because I don't like to tie shoelaces on sneakers, and they hang high when untied and are easy to then slip off by using my feet," he wrote. "Military efficiency!"
-by William Bender