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White House bracing for Arlen Specter loss?

If this is true, it's significant: CBS chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer is now saying that he has it on good authority that the White House is privately bracing for Arlen Specter to lose tomorrow.

Schieffer, to my knowledge, has not said this on national TV yet. But he made the claim in an interview with the local CBS affiliate in Philadelphia. "I have been told on background that the White House is preparing for a Specter loss here, and that the president doesn't want to be associated with that," Schieffer said.

I've also learned that Veep Joe Biden will not be doing any campaign events for Specter in the final stretch, though it's not immediately clear how significant this is. Last week, Biden said he'd be doing events for Specter "as needed."

But a Biden aide confirms for me that no campaign events are scheduled, even though Biden will be in Pennsylvania tonight speaking at his daughter's graduation. Biden has done radio interviews on Specter's behalf.

As for Shieffer's claim that the White House is preparing for a Specter loss, keep in mind that the White House decided against a last-minute visit to Pennsylvania by Obama. Also, the White House would presumably have access to the best intelligence on the race from the DSCC, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, and the office of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, all of whom have thrown their weight behind Specter.

So if Shieffer's right, all these people may be privately telling the White House Specter may be going down. Which means it just may be true.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 17, 2010; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Political media , Senate Dems  
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Next: Obama Robocall: Lincoln 'on side of workers'

Comments

What Bob Schiffer says means nothing.

Of course The White House is not sure if Arlen will win or lose. All the polls say that it is a toss up. So; to Mr. Schieffer; Well DUH!!!

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Sestak deserves a lot of credit for running a smart, long-term campaign. How many times was he counted out? How many times dismissed as just running to "keep Specter honest"?

As a primary challenge that changes things, this ought to get some press. Actually, it ought to get lots of press NOW. How often in the last 20 years has a Senator lost a primary without some kind of exigent circumstances?

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 17, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Just throwing this out as a contrarian viewpoint. What if Specter doesn't want anybody associated with Pres Obama campaigning for him? Im reminded of that NRA add you posted about the other day where he is trying to campaign in one part of Pennsylvania one way and other parts in another. Im not saying its true but when you think about it the strategy could be a stroke of genius as strategies go. Be the populist Dem in heavily Dem areas but try to sneak across the finish line by appealing to right leaning conservadems in other parts of the state. No way he could risk alienating them by being caught with Pres Obama if that is the case. Again Im not saying it is I'm just saying if he wins tomorrow and its shown that he pulled it off by drawing heavily from red and purple districts Id have to tip my hat to him from a strategy standpoint.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 17, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"Gov. Perry's temporary digs costs Texas big bucks"

"AUSTIN, Texas – With the state facing a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spent almost $600,000 in public money during the past two years to live in a sprawling rental home in the hills above the capital, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.

It costs more than $10,000 a month in rent, utilities and upkeep to house Perry in a five-bedroom, seven-bath mansion that has pecan-wood floors, a gourmet kitchen and three dining rooms. Perry has also spent $130,000 in campaign donations to throw parties, buy food and drink, and pay for cable TV and a host of other services since he moved in, the records show.

The public spending on Perry's rental comes as the state grapples with a budget shortfall forecast to reach at least $11 billion over the next two years. Perry has asked state agencies to cut their budgets by 5 percent and the Republican House speaker has begun to consider furloughs and shortened workweeks for state employees."

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Perry Rental Mansion.

Part 2

"Ethics watchdogs, meanwhile, say Perry's campaign may have violated state disclosure laws because of the vague way he's reported what his staff calls "incidental" spending at the mansion.

"Anybody who is not offended probably doesn't know what's going on," said Rep. Jim Dunnam of Waco, the Texas House Democratic leader. To spend so much while asking state agencies to spend less, Dunnam said, is "just rank hypocrisy."

Perry dismissed such criticism with a laugh when asked by the AP about the costs of living in the exclusive Barton Creek Estates neighborhood in West Austin: "If that's the best cut anybody's got of leadership in the state of Texas, then bring it on."

Texas' longest-serving governor moved into his temporary home in the fall of 2007, leaving the white columned, two-story governor's mansion so it could undergo repairs. A still-unsolved arson wrecked the 1856 residence less than a year later, and officials say it will take another two years to finish its reconstruction.

His 6,386-square-foot rental sits on more than three acres and was advertised in 2007 for sale at $1.85 million. Perry's state-paid expenses at the home include $18,000 for "consumables" such as household supplies and cleaning products, $1,001.46 in window coverings from upscale retailer Neiman Marcus, a $1,000 "emergency repair" of the governor's filtered ice machine, a $700 clothes rack, and a little over $70 for a two year subscription to Food & Wine Magazine.

Maintenance on the heated pool has cost taxpayers at least $8,400, and the tab for grounds and lawn maintenance has topped $44,000, the records show. All told, taxpayers have spent at least $592,000 for rent, utilities, repairs, furnishings and supplies since Perry moved in.

By comparison, the Texas governor's mansion is wholly owned by the state — there is no rent or mortgage to pay. As currently configured, it has about 9,900 total square feet, but most is public space packed with historic artifacts. Only 2,750 square feet is dedicated to the governor's residence.

Democratic critics have said Perry and his wife, Anita, could live in a downtown apartment while the mansion is under repair. Should he win in November, Democrat Bill White, the former Houston mayor and multimillionaire lawyer challenging Perry's bid for a third full term, told the AP he would rent his own home until the mansion is repaired."

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Liam, given that it's Texas, I'm surprised it wasn't worse.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 17, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"Gov. Perry's temporary digs costs Texas big bucks"

"AUSTIN, Texas – With the state facing a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spent almost $600,000 in public money during the past two years to live in a sprawling rental home in the hills above the capital, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.

It costs more than $10,000 a month in rent, utilities and upkeep to house Perry in a five-bedroom, seven-bath mansion that has pecan-wood floors, a gourmet kitchen and three dining rooms. Perry has also spent $130,000 in campaign donations to throw parties, buy food and drink, and pay for cable TV and a host of other services since he moved in, the records show.

The public spending on Perry's rental comes as the state grapples with a budget shortfall forecast to reach at least $11 billion over the next two years. Perry has asked state agencies to cut their budgets by 5 percent and the Republican House speaker has begun to consider furloughs and shortened workweeks for state employees."

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Greg, what's the thinking on Specter running as an Indy if he loses? Shades of Lieberman.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | May 17, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the repeat post. This site is very quirky. It rejected my comment, and when I resubmitted, it post it twice.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I take your point sgwhite, but I think that even if Specter didn't believe an Obama visit was a net positive... the same would certainly not be said of a Biden visit (I mean, who doesn't love that guy?).

The half-hearted attempts on behalf of the WH have always looked to me to be of the sort that are being made to repay the debt they owe to Specter for switching parties and providing a 'yea' for some very valuable votes. However, I don't think for a second that they believe Arlen will be a better Toomey challenger than Specter. The anti-incumbent factor is just too strong.

Good stuff Greg, my money has been on Sestak for a while now.

Posted by: PaulW99 | May 17, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse


Liam, given that it's Texas, I'm surprised it wasn't worse.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 17, 2010 10:59 AM |

.................

Here is the great Irony in the whole situation.

Perry is one of those Right Wing Darlings of the Teabagger movement. He is supposed to be against big government spending that bleeds the Tax Payers.

The Tea Party is a fake populist Republican Potemkin Village. They will not rally against Perry because of his huge waste of tax payer money, so that he could live in the lap of luxury.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

This is OT, but a friend points me to a new op-ed in the NYT about an oil disaster here in NYC that has gone on now over 50 years, the Newtown Creek oil disaster. Definitely worth a read:

An Oil Spill Grows in Brooklyn

...the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may eventually prove to be the largest oil spill in American history.

But New Yorkers forget, or don't know, that a much larger oil spill sits in our own backyard: an estimated 17 million to 30 million gallons of oil, benzene, naptha and other carcinogenic chemicals pollute Newtown Creek and a swath of soil roughly 55 acres wide and up to 25 feet deep, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/opinion/16Prudhomme.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 17, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

BG, here's a little bit about the third Dem in the Arkansas primary. Looks like he's polling at about 6% right now.

"Still, the GOP face-off is overshadowed by the fiery contest between Lincoln, Halter and businessman D.C. Morrison, the contest's wild card who could force Lincoln and Halter into a June 8 run-off."

"Morrison, who has never run for political office, paints himself as a "conservative" Democrat whose support for the "fair tax" aligns more with Republicans than with either Halter or Lincoln, a co-founder of the Blue Dog Coalition. (Morrison wants to abolish the IRS and have a national retail sales tax.)"

"With little money, Morrison is running a grassroots operation. That's not a cliche. He and his wife, for example, hand-address letters to supporters at night while watching "Law & Order."

Posted by: lmsinca | May 17, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Thanks lms.

That's going to be a tough race to call. Halter needs turnout.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 17, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I believe Sestak will win the primary and I don't believe it says much about anything other than the fact that he is really a Republican. It may have seemed like a smart move a year ago, pre-Sestak, but in hindsight it seems much more like a political ploy. It's my understanding that under PA election rules he will not be allowed to enter the race as an Independent.

The more interesting race for Dems IMO is Arkansas. I'm really hoping Halter is able to garner enough votes to force the run-off. Liberals need to send a message to Washington, do not take our support for granted. Halter has a better chance of beating Boozman anyway, Lincoln is not that popular anymore and polls very poorly in the general election.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 17, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

KathleenHusseininMaine:
He can't. PA isn't Connecticut. And if you thought it was bad when D.C. Democrats were supporting Lieberman under the table then, now would be doubly worse. But back to the point. That ship has sailed here in PA. If Specter loses tomorrow, he's toast. No more comebacks for him.

Posted by: Calvin_Jones_and_the_13th_Apostle | May 17, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"Former First Lady Laura Bush has come out against the Arizona immigration law, pointing to the discrimination that her own Irish ancestors, named Welch, faced in their time.

In an interview with Fox News, Bush said the new law merely showed an upsurge in prejudice similar to what her Irish ancestors faced.

Here is what she said on Fox News' "Sunday with Chris Wallace" in relation to immigration and state of play in Arizona:


Chris Wallace: ... you talk {in the book] to your husband about not making gay marriage a big issue in reelection campaign. Why not?

L.B.: ...what happens on big social issues like that is that the debate ends up denigrating a certain group of people. And I think that's also what's happening on the immigration debate, another hot button issue, where instead of it being a debate of what the laws are, it ends up making a group of people feel like they are the target of the debate.

Chris Wallace: I have to ask, since you brought it up, are you unhappy with the Arizona Law?



LB: Well, not necessarily, I mean I think we have to have immigration laws and that's just a really important part of it. It's just that the debate about immigration laws, about Arizona's law in targeting someone, a group of people, and this is not new in American history. There have been many groups of immigrants who have been targeted over all of our history, the Irish for instance, when a lot of Irish immigrants, including my family, came to the United States [and] other times, and it's just a trace of Nativism that shows up in American history in a lot of different ways."

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Funny, I heard just the opposite report from The Hill last night. They said Rendell thinks Specter can pull this out with a 2 point lead. And, I think it is a good thing that the President doesn't campaign for him, Obama's track record recently has not been good. Also, VP Biden has campaigned as recently as Friday for Specter and has cut an ad for the Senator. Sure, you prepare for a loss, because you jist never know, but as a Specter supporters I remain positive about the outcome. Since when is changing parties a crime? Politicians do it all the time and it benefits the party they move to. Are we going to denounce and attack every Republican from now on who wants to become a Democrat? and, Sestak has not run on any issue, the people have no idea what they are getting. And, if he does win him will be brought down by the Republican machine which is going to associate him-with good reason-with the ultr-left wing of our party. He has the support of Move0on.org and the DFE, the group run by Howard Dean's brother.

Posted by: margievogel | May 17, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

OT: New Rassmussen poll for FL-SEN showing Rubio taking back the lead from Crist. Movement all over the place... This race is still in bigtime flux. I don't think this poll changes anything, but I expect the media to have a field day over-interpreting it, as usual. Look for it. :)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 17, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Arlen said that he did not want to become a Democrat. He said that he would have preferred to stay a Republican, but he realized that he could not win the Republican Primary. Let us not try to sugar coat his crass political survival decision.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Turn out is the key. Arlen has the unions, and the Democratic organizations working the turn out on his behalf. The governor, and Senator Casey are backing him. Their ability to organize a voter turn out could make the difference tomorrow. Don't count Arlen out yet.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

dude - if the article and discussion are about Specter and Pennsylvania, why the need to post a completely OFF-TOPIC post about Perry and Texas - and then further compound your questionable judgemental skills by blaming your double-post on the website? Here's a hint/clue - if you really really want to lead the discussion, then how's about starting your own blog?

Posted by: hohandy | May 17, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

What the hell are we doing. Recently we have being trying to put Lipstick on a Corrupt and Incompetent Pig named Karzai,

and now we have this from today's New York Times.

Will we ever learn!

"LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan — Farmers from the district of Marja, which since February has been the focus of the largest American-led military operation in Afghanistan, are fleeing the area, saying that the Taliban are terrorizing the population and that American troops cannot protect the civilians.

The departure of the farmers is one of the most telling indications that Taliban fighters have found a way to resume their insurgency, three months after thousands of troops invaded this Taliban stronghold in the opening foray of a campaign to take control of southern Afghanistan. Militants have been infiltrating back into the area and the prospect of months of more fighting is undermining public morale, residents and officials said.

As the coalition prepares for the next major offensive in the southern city of Kandahar, the uneasy standoff in Marja, where neither the American Marines nor the Taliban have gained the upper hand and clashes occur daily, provides a stark lesson in the challenges of eliminating a patient and deeply rooted insurgency.

Over 150 families have fled Marja in the last two weeks, according to the Afghan Red Crescent Society in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah.

Marja residents arriving here last week, many looking bleak and shell-shocked, said civilians had been trapped by the fighting, running a gantlet of mines laid by insurgents and firefights around government and coalition positions. The pervasive Taliban presence forbids them from having any contact with or taking assistance from the government or coalition forces.

“People are leaving; you see 10 to 20 families each day on the road who are leaving Marja due to insecurity,” said a farmer, Abdul Rahman, 52, who was traveling on his own. “It is now hard to live there in this situation.”

One farmer who was loading his family and belongings onto a tractor-trailer on the edge of Lashkar Gah last week said he had abandoned his whole livelihood in Sistan, Marja, as soon as the harvest, a poor one this year, was done.

“Every day they were fighting and shelling,” said the farmer, Abdul Malook Aka, 55. “We do not feel secure in the village and we decided to leave. Security is getting worse day by day.”

“We thought security would be improving,” he said.

Those who remain in Marja voiced similar complaints in dozens of interviews and repeated visits to Marja over the last month.

“I am sure if I stay in Marja I will be killed one day either by Taliban or the Americans,” said Mir Hamza, 40, a farmer from Loye Charahi.

Combat operations in Marja ended at the end of February and the military declared the battle won. But much of the local Taliban, including at least four mid-level commanders, never left, stashing their rifles and adopting the quiet farm life. "

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"Be the populist Dem in heavily Dem areas but try to sneak across the finish line by appealing to right leaning conservadems in other parts of the state. No way he could risk alienating them by being caught with Pres Obama if that is the case."

Ah, the Creigh Deeds strategy. I hope it works out just as well for Specter.

Posted by: jimeh | May 17, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse


dude - if the article and discussion are about Specter and Pennsylvania, why the need to post a completely OFF-TOPIC post about Perry and Texas - and then further compound your questionable judgemental skills by blaming your double-post on the website? Here's a hint/clue - if you really really want to lead the discussion, then how's about starting your own blog?

Posted by: hohandy | May 17, 2010 11:38 AM

...............

Dudette,

If you want to be a blog monitor, then start your own damn blog. Greg and I go way back, and if he does not have a problem with my posts, then you can take your school hall monitor impulses, and shove them where the sun don't shine.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

jimeh, good point. It's an apt comparison I hadn't thought of...

Anybody watch the dueling interview on CNN over the weekend? I thought Sestak was awesome and Specter was doing his best to filibuster.

What's clear to me, and I think I mentioned this on PL before, is that Sestak needed coaching on his delivery and manner of conveying his ideas. It seems that between appearances on Hardball last month and the interview this weekend he not only GOT that coaching, but internalized it to the degree that he's ready to beat Specter and go on to run (and win) a high-profile race against Toon-town.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 17, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

He's an 80 year old party switcher. That's 2 good reasons for Specter to lose

Posted by: merlallen1 | May 17, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

All, Obama has cut a robocall for Blanche Lincoln saying she's "on the side of workers":

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/obama_robocalling_for_blanche.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 17, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"Funny, I heard just the opposite report from The Hill last night. They said Rendell thinks Specter can pull this out with a 2 point lead."


I'm not at all surprised Rendell would say that. Rendell owes his entire career to being hired by Specter when Specter was Philadelphia District Attorney. (Certainly Rendell has made a career for himself and demonstrated his own political skills more than once, but even so he got his start in it all thanks to Specter, and he's said so publicly.)

It's only my own opinion, but as a former PA resident (from '62 to '95) I think Specter should have retired at the end of his last term, if not the one before that.

Posted by: akaoddjob | May 17, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with you posting OT, Liam...but do you have to paste such long excerpts? You contribute some interesting stuff, but I'm more than capable of going to the link myself if I'm interested in doing any further reading. I feel like on some posts I spend most of my time scrolling through your cut and paste text.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | May 17, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

This blog does not accept live links. I always posted them on the old Plum Line forum.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 -- to be fair, the comparison, while amusing, is only somewhat accurate. Deeds didn't have enthusiastic union support, and since Virginia is a right-to-work state, unions aren't as powerful. And while Deeds did try to use anti-administration messages downstate that he wasn't talking about in the suburbs (opposing climate change legislation and flirting with opposing healthcare reform), he never made much of an effort to win voters in the suburbs. His campaign apparently thought that he could appeal to rural voters and urban and suburban Democrats would just come out and vote because they didn't have a better choice. (I hope any campaign staff who didn't understand that "just stay home" is also a choice never get hired again.)

But still, there are enough similarities to hope for the same outcome, since the lesson to be learned (don't run away from the most popular member of your party, because the people who don't like him probably won't like you even if you do) is one all Democrats should take to heart.

Posted by: jimeh | May 17, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

On Tuesday, say goodbye to Specter. He is an arrogant, old buzzard who needs to retire. I'll even donate a fishing pole.

Posted by: Dodgers1 | May 17, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Celebratory robotin' it up like a madman dance in 3,2,1...

Posted by: MichaelConrad | May 17, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Americas poster boy for term limits going down?? Could not happen to a nicer guy!!! One would have to be a total idiot to vote for this terrible person. No integrity, no honesty and in office way too long. I would love it if I could vote in Pennsylvania. Would do my soul good. Tea Party activists go for it tomorrow! Let the Reagan Revolution Part II begin tomorrow and run through November!!

Posted by: cdorbg | May 17, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

What's fascinating is what a bunch of hypocrites the so-called journalists at WaPo have become.

A crime has been committed. There is no "if" here - a felony has been committed.

Either Joe Sestak committed a felony by making a false report or Jim Messina - the White House Deputy Chief of Staff committed a felony in offering a bribe to Sestak.

I wonder who gave Messina the idea? Did his boss Rahm Emanuel give him the idea? Who does Rahm Emanuel talk to? Well, bless my stars, his boss is the Messiah.

I well remember Watergate and the muscle that Washington Post flexed as it extolled its virtues of investigative journalism.

It was all hypocrisy. It was all for the liberal cause.

Here we are on the eve of an election and we have serious election fraud and other federal crimes and the Washington Post investigative journalism team is still in Adak, Alaska trying to determine if Sarah Palin ever caught more salmon than the legal limit.

There's a reason the WaPo is losing money and there's a reason News Corporation is enjoying record profits; it's credibility and fairness.

The Washington Post threw away its future when it joined the Regime's State Media Collective. You have a chance and here we are having a discussion about an election and its outcome - that was tainted from the beginning - and you can't find your voice, comrades.

It doesn't matter if Sestak or Specter wins; either way, America loses. That's the news and you won't even print it, much less investigate it. Woodward and Bernstein were just shills who were out promoting a failed agenda and got lucky because Nixon was a criminal. Here they have a huge criminal undertaking under their very nose and nobody is asking questions.

You are dying because you looked the other way and we all know it.

Posted by: rainmaker1145 | May 17, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Schiffer like Specter has not gotten the word yet from the new Socialist Democratic Party.. that they need to convert to further left thought.
The Tea Party looks forward to Barry and his Merry Band of Clowns supporting a candidate...it helps the opposition win another seat!

Posted by: NeoConVeteran | May 17, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Spector goes the way of the Dodo bird. He deserves to loose because of his scheming to just stay in office by switching from Republican to Democratic Party member.

Posted by: Tommytoons | May 17, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

If it is o.k. to elect a man close to 80 to make life and death decisions for each of us, then why on earth are we retiring people at the age of 65?

Last year watching Specter deal with townhall meetings, he looked scared and tiny and clearly not in control at all. So instead of dealing with the crowd of angry older voters for the most part, he just ran back to Washington where he could get cover.

Really, I am all for seniors working until they drop. I stand by the motto use it or lose it. However to suggest a man of advanced years is not compromised mentally if under lots of pressure and deadlines is refusing to fact reality.

He has done enough damage. We need to get rid of career politicians.

Posted by: jkachmar | May 17, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps I am missing something. This is a _primary_ election. Why is the White House/Obama Administration "bracing" for anything? Why are they even involved in a primary election at all? If Penna Democratic voters don't want Spector as their candidate, what business is it of Obama's?

sPh

Posted by: sphealey | May 17, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Specter may very well go down (although I'm hedging a bit based on the fact that he does have an impressive organization, an opponent that hasn't won statewide, and a reputation for winning when he has no business winning, but I think there's two things to keep in mind:

1 - Sestak is almost certainly the better candidate for Democrats in November. He has a higher ceiling and tests better against Toomey

2 - The Obama endorsement means next to nothing. Check that - it means he was interested in getting a Specter vote or two in the run-up to the primary.

http://tinyurl.com/27goyou

Posted by: Yeggo | May 17, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I have always admired Alen Specter, even when he was a Republican. He has worked hard to do the best for his constituents and this country, but now, it is time that he moved aside for a younger more vigorous candidate who can continue his good work for years to come. Alen is 80, I am 73, I know how it feels to grow old. I would not run for office in my small town because I doubt that I would be able to handle the stress and to be able to make all city meetings. It is time for some of our older representatives to retire and move aside for the younger generation. Sestak has served his country well in the miltary and can take his experience to the Senate and do a great job. Arlen has done a great job, it is time for him to take a well deserved retirement.

Posted by: rbeigher | May 17, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Speculation by Washington Post columnists may influence fewer than 1 percent of voters in Pennsylvania. Still, it strikes me as unethical for the Post to run gossip like this on the eve of an election, casting a loser image over Specter. No matter what spin Obama or his aides may be leaking to Schieffer, I think the situation is a replay of the Bush fiasco of '08 -- a congressional candidate telling an unpopular president to stay in Washington, far away from my district.

Posted by: beachcomberT | May 17, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

It is good that I am not a resident of PA. Arlan Specter earned my contempt when I first heard speak during the Water Gate hearings in support of our very own National Crook, Dick Nixon.

I concluded then that Mr. Specter was a disgusting little worm who was nothing more than Tricky Dick's chief Toady in Residence.

When he jumped the Republican ship, he was just doing what he has done so well for the last 30 + years, viz. Suck-up to whomever he perceives will give him the most security.

The other thing I hold against him would be his advanced age. That alone would be a red flag issue.

On the other side of the coin, his opponent is no stellar paradigm of virtue and integrity, either.

My advice to PA voters is this: Flip a coin see if it comes-up heads or tails; pay no attention to the results put the coin back in your pocket; go to your nearest bar; put your hard-earned money on a beer, and at least you'll get something of value in return.

Posted by: chamateddy | May 17, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't have happened to a better turncoat.

Posted by: edmondsonpr1 | May 18, 2010 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Course he is going to lose...so aren't many more...I can't wait until most of the current sitting congress is no longer employed...the people are sick of them all. Nothing but white collar thieves!

Posted by: galario | May 18, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I have been a Republican since 1978. I switched to Democrat, temporarily, a few weeks ago just so I could vote against Specter in the Democratic primary. I voted for Sestak today, and I hope Specter goes down in flames. I have hated him for decades, and if he was on the ballot, it kept me from being able to vote straight R.

I will feel good no matter who wins. If Specter somehow pulls it off, Toomey will wipe the floor with him in November; he is too old, and has too much political baggage. He is vulnerable in ways Sestak is not. Plus, even if he did beat Toomey, at his age and with his health history, chances are good he would die in office and he would be replaced by a (Republican) governor!

And if Sestak wins, the good thing there is that he is so far to the left that the Republicans will have a great time exposing him as being just as far left as Obama (and since Obama is so hated right now, it would guarantee Toomey winning.)

The polls show Toomey beating either of them in November, anyway...but Specter would be easiest for him to beat.

Posted by: Chana1432 | May 18, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

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