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Embattled Democrat Arlen Specter skips Murtha funeral for California money stop

February 16, 2010 |  4:52 pm

SpecterArlenap

Sen. Arlen Specter couldn't make the funeral today of fellow Democrat and Pennsylvania powerhouse Rep. John Murtha, who died last week from gall bladder surgery complications.

The aging Specter discovered just last year that he wasn't a Republican all these years but belonged better in the majority party of President Obama. Now, despite the president's promised backing, Specter faces a daunting primary challenge from Rep. Joe Sestak.

We don't know what regrets Specter sent to the Murtha family and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and  some four dozen other mourning Dems including Bill Clinton about his inability to be there to bury the tough, 77-year-old ex-Marine Murtha this morning. But the fact is, as pointed out by the eagle-eyed Daniel Malloy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Specter was in California.

And we'll give you two hint$ about why he'$ in San Francisco. Same reason embattled Nevada Sen. Harry Reid was there Monday. Hey, the gold rush didn't end in 1849. And the same reason why Democratic primary candidate Obama was in that city way back in 2008 when he spoke candidly to California donors about those simple smalltown people back in Pennsylvania who cling bitterly to their religion and guns.

Pseudo-sophisticate San Francisco loves to hear that about other places. And, more importantly, the city's a hotbed of Democratic dollars.

Specter is taking advantage of this week's Senate recess to make a four-state money swing through Tennessee and then out West to Arizona, California and Nevada, the Silver state that Obama said Americans shouldn't squander their hard-earned savings in. But he loves ya, babe.

BTW, Obama himself will be in Nevada later this week where tickets to a Democratic National Committee fundraiser are going for a reported $30,000 per person.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press

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