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From: J.J. McDonnell (e-mail him)
Here's a theory about what Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter's defeat in the Democratic primary may mean to President Barack Obama
Conventional wisdom has it that Specter's doom was preordained by the wave of voter frustration with Washington and an increasing concern among Democrats that Obama is too liberal for the party's mainstream.
Remember also that Pennsylvania Democrats strongly backed Hillary Clinton in the heated Democratic April 2008 primary. Clinton beat Obama by ten points.
Specter's humiliating defeat could spawn the idea that, if Obama's approval falls lower than its current 40 percent who strongly disapprove, Clinton may have the support from centrist Democrats to challenge him.
A challenge to an incumbent is a rare and bold move. But if Democrats get swept out in November 2010, party moderates might beg Clinton to get into the race to avoid the same fate in 2012.
McDonnell is retired from what he describes as "a very high level" position in municipal government at a major American city. His previous letters about Specter are here and here. His most recent post about the Sestak/Obama mess is here.