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In Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell's last hoorah for Arlen Specter?

May 18, 2010 |  5:42 pm

Gov. Ed Rendell, speaking at Sen. Arlen Specter's Center City campaign party moments after the Pennsylvania polls closed, seemed saddened by his long-time friend's prospects amid reports of lackluster turnout on a dreary, wet and cold primary Election Day.

"Everything I asked him to do for Philadelphia, he did," said Rendell, who noted that when he was the city's mayor, the then-Republican Specter didn't receive more than 30% of the city's vote.

"It didn’t matter that we were a Democratic city. And I think that ought to mean a lot to people. If he loses, yeah, I'll be a little ticked off because people didn’t recognize that. It’s a rare gift. Arlen Specter delivered like no one else ever has, and if we lose him, shame on us."

Turnout is expected to be key in this race, with larger numbers, notably in Philadelphia, benefiting the five-term incumbent.

Rendell, along with the rest of the Democratic establishment, has been a committed Specter supporter in his primary race against retired admiral Rep. Joe Sestak, who put on a late surge in polls.

Despite the fact that Specter and Rendell were on different sides of the political aisle for decades, until Specter abandoned the GOP in 2009, the men have a deep history -- Specter gave Rendell his first job decades ago, and the men are friends and neighbors in the East Falls section of Philadelphia.

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-- Seema Mehta

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