PA-Sen: A Draft Sestak Effort?

{Beeton touched on this earlier, but I wanted to help front-and-center it. -Guru}

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, working with a number of progressive organizations and blogs including Senate Guru, has put out a poll to gauge netroots interest in supporting an effort to draft Congressman Joe Sestak to challenge recently-Republican Arlen Specter in the PA-Sen Democratic primary next year.  The poll will be open for the next four days, and provided are both pro and con arguments regarding a draft effort.  To read the arguments and vote in the poll, click the below link:

Sestak vote

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Whither Arlen Specter?

From Glenn Thrush:

Arlen Specter has scrapped his scheduled appearance tonight on CNN's Larry King show citing a "scheduling" conflict, the Hill reports.

Specter has made himself extremely scarce since last night's vote stripping him of seniority rights.

It's never a good sign when a politician begins canceling media appearances, or makes himself "extremely scarce." No doubt, the week or so since Arlen Specter announced his defection from the Republican Party, things have gone badly for him. But the bulk of Specter's problems have resulted from things that he has said -- denying he promised to the President that he would be a loyal Democrat, announcing his opposition to one of the President's nominees, saying he is against the Employee Free Choice Act... you name it. So perhaps taking a moment out of the spotlight to get his stuff together, to figure out exactly what his message and aims are, wouldn't the worst decision Specter.

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PA-Sen: Pennsylvania Democrats Embracing Specter For Now

According to GOP polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, Arlen Specter, predictably, leads in a hypothetical Democratic primary with Joe Sestak.

Arlen Specter: 57
Joe Sestak: 20
Undecided: 22

Consider this a baseline poll, still largely a function of name ID. Sestak will close once he finally gets in and starts to gain a statewide profile.

The PCCC has an online straw poll asking whether there should be a Draft Sestak movement (vote HERE.) I've been a vocal supporter of Sestak's running against Specter for several reasons, one of which can be found in the general election numbers from the POS poll:

Arlen Specter: 41
Tom Ridge: 49
Undecided: 10

When deciding between two moderates, all things presumably being equal, Pennsylvania voters choose the guy who hasn't just sold out for political expediency. If Ridge does run, there needs to be a battle of ideas in this Senate race, Ridge needs to be able to be saddled with the failures of the Republican Party; how can Arlen Specter make that case when he's been right there, enabling that failure?

We simply must have a real Democrat running in the general election or at worst make Arlen Specter resemble one. The way to accomplish both of these goals is to draft Joe Sestak for Senate.

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Shorter Arlen Specter On His Support For Norm Coleman: My Bad

Forget all that other stuff Arlen Specter said. He was just confused, you see.

"In the swirl of moving from one caucus to another, I have to get used to my new teammates," he said. "I'm ordinarily pretty correct in what I say. I've made a career of being precise. I conclusively misspoke."

Asked who he's backing now in elections, Specter said, "I'm looking for more Democratic members. Nothing personal."

A different day, a different party, what's a guy to do?

What Markos said:

He's so devoid of any conviction that one day, justice requires Coleman to be declared the winner, and the next day, it doesn't?

He's an empty, hollow, shell of a man. There is just one value that drives him -- political self-preservation.

But we have one thing in common. We both are looking for more Democratic members. That's why I hope Sestak primaries his ass.

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PA-Sen: Arlen Hoping Norm Wins

Hey, who said Arlen Specter wasn't consistent and principled? Here it's been two days since he declared that he had no intention of being a loyal Democrat and sure enough, according to Mark Halperin, the following will appear in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday:

The new Democrat says the Minnesota Republican should return to the Senate.

"There's still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner."

Wow, really? So, the question must be asked: DSCC, Ed Rendell, Joe Biden and Barack Obama, is he still your guy? Really?

I guess I gotta give Specter credit, with each passing day, he keeps making a stronger and stronger case for a primary challenge against him.

Update [2009-5-5 17:8:20 by Todd Beeton]:Deep thought: can we send Specter back?

Update [2009-5-5 17:25:22 by Todd Beeton]:In the comments the quote is being met with some skepticism, understandable considering the source. I would like to see a New York Times source give the full context of the quote but here's Byron York in the meantime:

In next Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter sits for the "Questions For" feature. In the not-yet-released article, Specter becomes the only member of the Senate Democratic caucus to pull for Republican Norm Coleman to win the disputed Senate race in Minnesota, although the way the question is phrased, it's not solely a matter of party loyalty or disloyalty:

Question: With your departure from the Republican Party, there are no more Jewish Republicans in the Senate. Do you care about that?

Specter: I sure do. There’s still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.

What do you think?

Update [2009-5-5 17:25:22 by Todd Beeton]:Per TPM, Harry Reid's office responds to what appears to be an unambiguous statement of support for Norm Coleman by our latest "Democrat":

"Well, on that one we are just going to have to disagree," Manley writes, "because as far as Senator Reid and the people of Minnesota are concerned, Al Franken is going to be the next Senator from Minnesota."

I'd say Reid is being rather restrained. Regretting your support for Specter yet, Harry?

Update [2009-5-5 18:33:15 by Todd Beeton]:NYT link is up. Here's more context:

With your departure from the Republican Party, there are no more Jewish Republicans in the Senate. Do you care about that?
I sure do. There’s still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.

Which seems about as likely at this point as Jerry Seinfeld’s joining the Senate.
Well, it was about as likely as my becoming a Democrat.

I don't really see how he could just be kidding as some have suggested, and clearly neither does the NYT since their headline is "Specter Backs Coleman For Senate."

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