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Specter Campaign for Sestak Privately

October 8, 2010

Nearly five months after losing Pennsylvania's Democratic primary, Arlen Specter will finally campaign for his onetime rival Joe Sestak — at least in private.

As first reported by the Morning Call's Colby Itkowitz, the former GOP-turned-Democratic senator will appear with Sestak at a private fundraiser in Philadelphia on Monday night. It will be the first time Specter has appeared with Sestak in the race, even though the senator told reporters months ago that he would support the Pennsylvania congressman.

But Specter hasn't gone out of his way to help his former rival. Last month, Specter had just greeted President Obama on an airport tarmac in Philadelphia when Politico's Carol E. Lee, who was the White House pool reporter that day, asked him how he felt Sestak's campaign was going. "I'm late for the squash court, so I'm going to defer that to when I can answer in one spot," Specter replied, according to the pool report. Asked if that meant he believes Sestak's campaign is going "not very well," Specter paused. "Ah, I'm late for the squash court," he replied and walked away.

Sestak faces an uphill challenge in Pennsylvania, where voters have soured on Obama and the Democrats. A McClatchy/Marist poll released last week found Republican Pat Toomey leading Sestak in the race by 9 percentage points, 51 percent to 42 percent.

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