POLITICKING

Obama and Specter Strike a Deal

“I love you, and I love Arlen Specter,” President Obama told the crowd at the national AFL-CIO convention this Tuesday in Philadelphia. The feeling is clearly mutual. The Democratic Pennsylvania senator, formerly a Republican, switched his party affiliation this April, which many saw as boon to the Democratic Party and to the President’s stimulus package. Now Obama and other Democrats are doing everything in their power to aid Specter as he seeks election to a sixth Senate term. Later on Tuesday, Obama netted $2.5 million at a fundraiser for the senator, giving Specter a significant leg-up on his lesser-funded rival in the primary, Rep. Joe Sestak. Specter is doing his part, too, offering support for the President’s health care plan including the much-debated public option at a pivotal political moment. The political pairing seems to have longevity – “everybody who has committed has committed above and beyond what is normally expected,” said Pennsylvania Democratic Chairman T.J. Rooney.