Is Arlen Specter Toast?

As Marc reports in this evening's Night Beat--check it out daily, it's the 'net version of an afternoon newspaper--the White House is now signaling that the president will NOT campaign for Arlen Specter in his suddenly tight primary battle against Joe Sestak. Just a week ago, the assumption was that Obama WOULD campaign for him. Bad news for Specter, because it would seem to indicate that the White House has lost faith that he'll win and doesn't want to associate the president with an embarrassing loss. Earlier today, I was speaking with a top Democratic Senate strategist who indicated that the view from his camp was that the race would be close, but Specter was still expected to prevail. The rationale: Specter is a veteran campaigner and Sestak (says this source) is "a bit of an oddball." This may turn out to be correct, but regardless, it's a pretty thin reed to cling to if you're Specter.