Weekend open thread

Share whatever's on your mind this weekend.

I watched Joe Sestak and Arlen Specter on CNN this morning. Sestak did well except when he refused to say whether he would endorse Specter if Specter won the U.S. Senate primary (he refused to speculate about something he said would never happen). Specter answered the same question unambiguously, saying of course he would endorse the Democrat to keep Pat Toomey from winning. It's a joke for Specter to present himself as more of a Democratic team player, but in this case Sestak played right into Specter's talking point.

Speaking of Pennsylvania, the special election to fill John Murtha's old seat (PA-12) looks too close to call. The special election in Hawaii's first district unfortunately looks like it will go to the Republican, Charles Djou.

Tags: Open Thread (all tags)



The "would you endorse your primary opponent" game

is a tried and true substitute test for substance, and is a tattered trap for the upstart fighting the establshment favorite.  The "logic" is that if the upstart didn't think the "incumbent" or establishment candidate had major flaws, he/she wouldn't be taking him on.   So, if the upstart says he'd endorse the favorite if he wins, for some it implies that a) the incumbent couldn't really be so bad, and b) the upstart doesn't think he can win, both of which tend to undermine the upstart's chances.  I think the best option is to duck and say "I don't think that's going to happen, I'm focusing on the primary, next question".  That approach isn't totally satisfactory, but the question isn't about substance, but about institutional loyalty, which is already challenged (in some minds) merely by a primary challenge of an incumbent.

by budlawman 2010-05-17 10:31AM | 0 recs
RE: The "would you endorse your primary opponent" game

Don't know about that. When Lamont challenged Lieberman he promised to support the winner of the primary.

by desmoinesdem 2010-05-17 12:49PM | 0 recs
RE: The "would you endorse your primary opponent" game

I think the message that "it is important to have a Democrat in this seat" is always going to be the winning position in a Democratic primary.  For someone like Sestak, who is running on electability (among other things), it is a great opportunity to pivot to the argument that nominating Sestak is the best way to keep the seat in Democratic hands.

by Steve M 2010-05-18 10:34PM | 0 recs
There's a reason for

Specter's remarkable record of survival:

He's got skills.


by QTG 2010-05-17 12:15PM | 0 recs
What about the oil spill?

I know your blog is mostly a bit "wonkish" political but with the potential armageddon going on in the Gulf of Mexico - shouldn't you at least be analysing the politics of this situation? I am shocked at how little attention the political blogosphere is giving to this one. Hard to see how Katrina and 9/11 won't be eclispsed by "Deepwater Horizon" - and similarly impossible to imagine those earlier events having no political implications. I know you write about what you want to write about but...?

by pwax 2010-05-17 05:04PM | 0 recs
RE: Weekend open thread

If anyone has any knowledge of Alan Mollohan and his defeat in the WV Primary, I'd love to hear your take on them.  Its an interesting race!

by Chuckie Corra 2010-05-18 12:13AM | 0 recs


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