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Obama's next bailout: Arlen Specter?

Looks like Arlen Specter is hoping Obama will pull off another bailout: Specter himself.

Specter has gone up with a new ad featuring footage of Obama at a rally urging Pennsylvanians to support the Republican-turned-Dem, a last ditch effort to hold off Joe Sestak's apparent surge:

The footage appears to come from a rally that happened way back in September of 2009.

Sestak has taken the lead in several polls with a week to go until primary day, and the question now is whether Obama will come to Pennsylvania to campaign for Specter. Joe Biden has now said that he'll be showing up in the state, but he won't say whether the president will come.

Meanwhile, the Specter campaign is refusing to tell me whether they've asked Obama to come to Pennsylvania to campaign for him.

Obama and the Dem establishment in Washington, of course, are obliged to help the incumbent. But if Obama does come to the state and Specter still loses, the whole deal Dems cut with Specter to switch parties will look doubly sad.

In other Specter-Sestak news, I'm told a new public poll on the race is due out tomorrow.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 11, 2010; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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Next: Why Sestak might really pull it off

Comments

Haha, he had to dig out old footage from last year for the ad. His internals must mirror those that we're seeing with Sestak gaining/ahead. You know the they must be begging for something more than the radio ad Obama did for them.

Sestak should just keep doing what he's doing if he wants to win. An Obama radio ad didn't get Specter's numbers up, so I'm not sure this will be all that much of a help either.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 11, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Everything else aside, including current politics, what's good for Pennsylvania, what's good for Democrats, I have one true emotion about Arlen Specter:

I want to see him go down in flames. My heart and soul want this. Passionately.

Why? Because to this day I utterly detest him for the way he treated Anita Hill. His action way back then was -- and remains -- beyond all forgiving (yes, even beyond the forgiving that requires pragmatism in politics).


Posted by: S1VA | May 11, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Hi Greg,

This is my first post on your new site. My old name was already taken by someone else, that had previously signed up for the Post.

One thing that you might want to draw attention to:

Do Republicans want a Supreme Court nominee who can empathize with ordinary people or not?

They went ballistic, when President Obama once mentioned that he would like it if a nominee could "empathize" with the every day lives of ordinary people.

Now we have Senator John Cornyn(R) criticizing the selection of Ms. Kagan, because she does not come from a background that would allow her to relate to the life experiences of ordinary people. You know; she will not be able to EMPATHIZE with them!

Ask Cornyn why he was against EMPATHY, before he was for it!

Posted by: Liam-still | May 11, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Welcome Liam, I'd wondered where you were.

Does anyone have a link to Cornyn coming out for empathy?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 11, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Liam!

Good to see your voice.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 11, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Liam. I thought you and Tena had eloped!

Posted by: wbgonne | May 11, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

Ambinder (via Josh Green) reports that the President will NOT be campaigning for Specter.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/05/is-arlen-specter-toast/56515/

Posted by: dstrauss1987 | May 11, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"Does anyone have a link to Cornyn coming out for empathy?"

TPM's got it covered. I wouldn't characterize it as coming out for empathy. More like he's calling her an elitist, just like all of the other justices:

"There is no doubt that Ms. Kagan possesses a first-rate intellect, but she is a surprising choice from a president who has emphasized the importance of understanding 'how the world works and how ordinary people live.' Ms. Kagan has spent her entire professional career in Harvard Square, Hyde Park, and the DC Beltway. These are not places where one learns 'how ordinary people live.' Ms. Kagan is likewise a surprising choice because she lacks judicial experience. Most Americans believe that prior judicial experience is a necessary credential for a Supreme Court Justice."

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/05/cornyn-does-kagan-understand-how-ordinary-people-live.php

Posted by: sbj3 | May 11, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

It is on Cornyn's own US Senate website.

http://cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=NewsReleases&ContentRecord_id=0e468215-b241-48ac-8d21-a1a8681127f4

Here is the money quote:

""There is no doubt that Ms. Kagan possesses a first-rate intellect, but she is a surprising choice from a president who has emphasized the importance of understanding 'how the world works and how ordinary people live.' Ms. Kagan has spent her entire professional career in Harvard Square, Hyde Park, and the DC Beltway. These are not places where one learns 'how ordinary people live.'"

How else can one interpret that comment, except that Cornyn thinks that where she has spent her career, does not qualify her to Empathize with "ordinary people"?

BGinChi,

Thanks. I have been rather busy recently, and will probably not be able to post as often as in the past for the next few months. I will drop in when ever I have a few momements.


Greg,

Are you going to be able to allow the posting of live links, like we were allowed to on your old blog?

Posted by: Liam-still | May 11, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse


Yeah, Liam. I thought you and Tena had eloped!

Posted by: wbgonne | May 11, 2010

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

Tena is still missing in action?

I thought that she was probably just busy moving to her summer home in Taos.

I hope that all is well with her. I need a good sparring partner, on this blog.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 11, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Liam, I don't know. Let me try to find out. It seems hard to believe that it wouldn't be possible.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 11, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Mark my words... Arlen Specter will announce his Independent candidacy within days of his loss in the May 18th primary. Washington's dinosaurs will not go down without a fight. I wouldn't be surprised if he pulled a Charlie Crist and jumped from #3 to #1 in the polling... FlipCongress2010.com

Posted by: flipcongress2010 | May 11, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

All, a third poll is set to find that Sestak is ahead of Specter:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 11, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse


Mark my words... Arlen Specter will announce his Independent candidacy within days of his loss in the May 18th primary. Washington's dinosaurs will not go down without a fight. I wouldn't be surprised if he pulled a Charlie Crist and jumped from #3 to #1 in the polling... FlipCongress2010.com

Posted by: flipcongress2010 | May 11, 2010 11:57 AM

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

If Sestak wins the Primary, Arlen running as an Independent, would be a dream come through for Sestak. Since Arlen has always been elected as a Republican, he would only take votes away from the Republican nominee.

Does Pa election laws allow someone who got defeated in a Primary, to turn around and get on the ballot as an Independent, or would he have to run as a write in candidate?

My biggest concern is: if Arlen loses the Democratic Primary, he will decide to punish Democrats, by voting with the Republicans for the remainder of his term. We know that he can turn his coat, when ever the mood strikes him. He just might even throw his support behind the Republican nominee. That is the biggest concern I have about the guy.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 11, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Hi. I think U.S. Senator Arlen Specter is a good person and a dedicated public servant.

Posted by: atifgulab | May 11, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I called one wrong... I looked up PA law: Section 951e of the PA election code originally passed 6/3/1937... Specter cannot run after he loses the primary. In fact, the way the law is written, he cannot run for ANY PA elected office in 2010 (even if he pulls out now, before the primary).

Posted by: flipcongress2010 | May 13, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

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