May 19th, 2010
02:35 PM ET
4 years ago

Will Obama's coattails help or hurt in the midterms?

President Obama backed Sen. Arlen Specter in Tuesday's primary.
President Obama backed Sen. Arlen Specter in Tuesday's primary.

(CNN) - With his loss in the Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate primary, Sen. Arlen Specter became the latest high-profile candidate that a boost from President Obama couldn't save.

Specter, the Republican-turned Democrat, lost Tuesday to U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak.

Sestak called his victory "a win for the people, over the establishment, over the status quo, even over Washington, D.C."

Observers called it a bruise for the White House.

Full story


Filed under: 2010 • President Obama
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Mike

    In alot of areas of this country nobama campaigning for you IS the kiss of death.

    May 19, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Gordon Shumway

    I hope Obama continues to help every democrat up for re-election. He's done a real bang up job so far!

    May 19, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. Boycott Rush`s Sponsors

    Spector got what he asked for in turning his back on the Public Option.He can now retire to his home country.

    May 19, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. Vic of New York

    Do you really think Democrats give a care about Specter? The President did his duty and kept his word endorsing him. However, I don't think he's loosing any sleep over it. I'm not.

    May 19, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. NVa Native

    "Observers called it a bruise for the White House."
    Not observers – corporate media clowns are saying that, and the right wingers/tea-baggers love it.
    But the tea-baggers live in a fantasy world of Mayberry RFD – when some thought everything was balck and white. When women and blacks were second class citizens, children were to be seen but not heard ... even when abused, when cigerettes were cool, when spewing out air and water pollution was a corporate right.
    Ahhh ... longing for "the good old [boy] times".

    May 19, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. Ben

    Obama is toxic. The Dems running this fall should run in the other direction. That's the only thing that could possibly save them.

    May 19, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Joel Piperberg

    My vote for Sestak had nothing to do with whether or not Specter was endorsed by President Obama. It had to do with Specter (Clarence Thomas is the main reason, but there are others).

    May 19, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Larry

    The Democrats will increase their memberships in both the House and Senate because of President Obama's leadership of this country.

    May 19, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    The liberal party is going to lose the house and now have a good chance of losing the senate in November.

    CNN and the rest of the mainstream media are already trying to give Obama cover.

    Well here's a newsflash, CNN. The slaughter of the democrat party coming in November is a DIRECT reflection of the American citizenry's opinion of mega-corrupt O-Blah-Blah and his even mega-corrupter administration.

    Keep telling yourselves otherwise, sheep.

    May 19, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Michael from Ventura

    The victory for Sestak in PA was a carbon copy of 2008. People want to see change. The President is a very intelligent man and he knows the mood of the country-he came in on very hard times. His word still means alot to most of us,and by 2016 (when he leaves office) things will be much better.So all you haters start now.....1-2-3.......

    May 19, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. get real

    Neither, the media doesn't seem to understand that most Americans think for themselves and think about what is most important locally.

    By the way, why no mention of the Democratic victory for the congressional seat in PA?

    May 19, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. aware

    The DIC (deceiver in chief) can't help, and he can't fix anything!

    God has dealt with the cosmic catastrophe, and we live, now, between the inauguration and the consummation of His Kingdom! :)

    Pray for the DIC but don't trust him!

    May 19, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. pc

    i would love to see all the dems that did not work with president obama get ousted. it is time real democrats are elected BY THE PEOPLE to get our country back to where it was 9 years ago before the bush era. i am pleased that nevada is pushing another tea-bagger at the state, this will help harry reid in his election. president obama deserves the best of the best in democrats and we dems out here will make sure president obama is re-elected for 4 more years.
    we will fix our country to where it was when bill clinton left office, yes those were the good ole days! we support you president obama!

    May 19, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    I find it interesting that only Fox news can create a conspiracy theory about a job offer from the president. Of course they only have to sell it to their ignorant followers who are 'dumb as rocks.' (Dar) I remember that Obama offered a position in his administration to Rep. Sen. Gregg, but thankfully for the U.S., Judd turned it down.

    May 19, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Change is needed in DC

    Mr Obama promised us change and instead gave us partisan politics, billions of pork spending; tax cheating cabinet appointments; billion dollar paybacks to auto unions; the first stages of single payor socialized medicine; more lobbyists than ever seen in DC; a rebuke for border security; more troops in Afghan and slow movement in Iraq on withdrawal; zero progress for Palestine; no jobs; and a long list of broken and unkept promises.

    Change is coming to DC - and his name is not Obama.

    May 19, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. Charlie in Maine

    Obama did the right thing to support the man whose switch put us over the top in the Senate. The Commonwealth of PA did the right thing in selecting a nice new candidate. Read more into it if you must but it is just that simple.

    Go Senator Sestak.

    As for helping or hurting it depends on the area.

    May 19, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. Jump on the coat tails and out the door

    I hope many incumbents ride his coat tails right out of office - four and the door -- when Obama appointed a Treasury Head that cheated on his taxes and lied about it to Congres under oath, he lost me forever. Unless, of course, you beleive that the person overseeing the IRS Commissioner cannot do his taxes using Turbo Tax --and forgot why his employer gave him the cash to pay his self employment taxes - you believe that and I have a bridge for sale

    May 19, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. S callahan

    The justice he is promoting now will hurt him tremendously......back away while you can. The socialism paper is her undoing..or should be.

    May 19, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Pam

    Specter was a an 80 year old burned out career Senator. God himself could not have saved this fiip fiopper.
    The only ones calling this a bruise for the WH are the GOPer's who will say anything to try to discredit our President.
    Is the the fault of the leaders of the GOP that Grayson lost to Paul. They openly supported Grayson so therefore they are bruised too.
    It just depends how you want to spin it.

    May 19, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. Shirley in California

    Nice picture. OUR president looks great in green. Having said that – I am glad Specter lost. I agree with everything Ed Schultz said yesterday. This is a wake up call to the president. Stop being so polite to the republicans. We hired you because we wanted change. Enforce that change. Specter is an opportunist with absolutely no class. I don't know much about Sestak but I do know at least he's not afraid to go left. These people have done nothing but disrespect the president and scream against everything he tries to implement. Stop bowing to them. Assert your position (George did) and give the people what they voted for. Change. Until you do that Mr. President – you will continue to see disappointments. Hopefully, he will replant his feet and give this some serious thought.

    May 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The President's poll numbers are fine. Democrats in Congress should campaign on the grounds that they're the one's moving this country forward, while the republicans are the ones stuck in the 19th century. You don't need the President to campaign for you when you are doing what's right by the people.

    May 19, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. Marty, FL

    In 24/7 media world of seemingly endless "observers," punditry appears to have become a dime a dozen these days...

    Politicians of both parties should probably stay away from primary elections and let voters decide their own representation for the general, at which time presidential & legislative input might be more constructive.

    May 19, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. Annie, Atlanta

    If you look at the underlying reasons for these losses, President Obama didn't have anything to do with it. But if you want to try to draw some of the numbers from Fox news, this is the kind of spin you'll put on this story.

    Coakley ran a horrible campaign and wasn't a Democratic insider.
    Corzine was a Wall Streeter at a bad time for Wall Streeters. Specter switched parties to keep his job, pledging loyalty to HCR. Lincoln pledged loyalty to HCR (somewhat watered down ) in return for the President's support, yet voted against all other Democratic interests, and even tried to pull a fast one in the Senate last night, on financial reform with the help of Dodd, while everyone's attention was elsewhere..

    But, of course, it is all Obama's fault. But then it would have been all his fault if they had won. The whole world is going to hell, and it's Obama's fault. There, I said it.

    May 19, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. John

    Obama backed the wrong horse, and did so because he needed Specter for the Healthcare vote. He is more in line with Sestack. The Clinton White House never endorsed in a primary, Hillary never endorsed in a primary as Senator – O needs to take that page from their book.

    May 19, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama and his administration have successfully found and capture terrorist living right here in the U.S. that have been living here for years. No doubt they are larger in numbers than what we know and had the opportunity to increase their numbers under Bush because he never focused on home grown terrorist.

    May 19, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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