Obama to Campaign for Joe Sestak’s Senate Bid in Pennsylvania

The White House and the Pennsylvania Democrat insist there are no hard feelings from the primary.


BY Kenneth R. Bazinet

WASHINGTON - President Obama is heading to Philadelphia late Monday to make his first campaign appearance with Rep. Joe Sestak since he opposed the Pennsylvania Democrat in his Senate primary against Sen. Arlen Specter.

Both the White House and Sestak campaign insiders insist there are no hard feelings left over from the contentious primary earlier this year. Those relations reached a boiling point when Sestak loyalists said the White House tried to lure him out the race with a government job offer.

Now Sestak, who faces conservative former GOP Rep. Pat Toomey in the fall, finds himself one of the few Democrats running for statewide office who thinks Obama can help him toward victory, Democratic sources said. The same goes doubly for Vice President Biden, who has Pennsylvania roots.

"They play well in Philadelphia," a Democratic source said.

Expect to see the White House do more for Sestak as the November election approaches, sources said. Obama is expected to hold a party rally next month in Philadelphia, sources confirmed.

Obama is the headliner Monday at two fundraisers for Sestak at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. He will speak at both a reception for Sestak and later at a dinner for the candidate.

Tickets for the reception range from $250 to $750, while donors are being asked to pay $1,000 to $2,400 to attend the dinner.

Obama is also the keynote speaker at a separate Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia.