Just last year, the White House was crowing about Specter’s conversion to the Democratic Party, and Obama pledged, “He will have my full support. . .”
...but that support appears to be conditional now. It's conditioned on Mr. Spector actually being able to win his primary.
The southeastern Pennsylvania political machine built by sitting governor, Ed Rendell, tried to scare off any possible challengers,
The governor warned Rep. Joe Sestak against challenging Specter, saying on MSNBC last year that the congressman could get “15 or 18 percent” in a primary and predicting: “He would get killed.” This month, the governor’s party chairman, T.J. Rooney, warned that nominating Sestak could be “cataclysmic.”
Unfortunately, Mr. Sestak, a retired Admiral, has proven to be a much harder nut to crack. He's come from being a vast underdog to running even in some polls and ahead in others. Democratic leadership in Washington has appeared to have written off the political turncoat.
Then again, Mr. Obama's active support of Democratic candidates hasn't been terribly effective in the past couple of elections.
The president’s 11th-hour visit to Boston earlier this year did little to drive voters to doomed Democrat Martha Coakley – turnout in the Bay State’s heavily minority precincts was weak – and he didn’t have much luck boosting two gubernatorial candidates last fall.Remember last November when the states of Virginia and New Jersey elected Republican governors...despite intensive campaigning by Mr. Obama. In New Jersey's case, there hasn't been a GOP governor in decades...in a state that has been reliably Democratic for just as long. Then again, there was the earth shattering election of Scott Brown, even after Mr. Obama made a widely televised appearance in Boston, that wasn't sold out...Mr. Brown may be remembered for being elected to take the seat held by the late Edward Kennedy...and held by the Kennedy family (except for 4 years while Teddy became age eligible for the US Senate-1960-64) since 1952.
“It’s hard to see how he pulls this thing out,” said one top Obama aide of Specter, by way of explaining why Obama would not be in the Keystone State before Specter’s Tuesday Democratic primary showdown with Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Penn.). “Public and private tracking [polls] are all running away from him.” ...Specter’s campaign tried to woo Obama to the city as late as last week. But the White House politely rebuffed them several times, saying the president simply couldn’t carve out the time for a 45-minute flight north, according to people familiar with the situation.
Even Joe Biden a long time friend and colleague, who engineered Mr. Specter's abandonment of the GOP last year couldn't be bothered to campaign for him. Mr. Biden gave a commencement speach in Philadelphia this evening and returned to Washington afterward...ignoring calls by the Specter campaign that he appear in Philadelphia area before and after his speech.
So it appears that the Obama magic that propelled him into office may be wearing off...tomorro will tell the tale. I suspect that many incumbents will succumb to the anti-Washington fever that has begun to shake the country to it's toes...