A queasy scene, made queasier but the thought of what the clip doesn’t show — namely, the part where The One referred to Specter as “one tough hombre.” Plenty of lip service is duly paid to Specter retaining his independence, going his own way, not being a rubber stamp, etc etc, but realistically that can’t be true. Even with Obama campaigning for him, he risks low turnout among the Dem base next year if he crosses them on any important vote. He’ll simply have to find a way to reverse himself on Card Check and prove his blue bona fides with party-line votes on all other major bills.

Having mulled yesterday’s question a bit more, I wonder if the Democrats feared he’d turn independent before the GOP primary, thereby conceding that race to Toomey and taking his chances in a three-way general election with, possibly, Joe Sestak as the Democratic nominee. I’m surprised that the left’s brain trust evidently didn’t think it could win a race like that given Sestak’s military background, reasonably high political profile, and inevitable guarantee from Obama to campaign on his behalf. Maybe they thought that even with The One on the trail for him, there was simply too great a risk that he’d split leftists and centrists with the incumbent Specter and the conservative Toomey would squeak through. If so, they seem surprisingly bearish about Obama’s influence next year in a state he carried by 10 points.

While you watch, a touch of nuance to think about from today’s NYT op-ed by Olympia Snowe — another moderate who, like Specter, voted for a stimulus bill that ended up just shy of $800 billion:

Ideological purity is not the ticket back to the promised land of governing majorities — indeed, it was when we began to emphasize social issues to the detriment of some of our basic tenets as a party that we encountered an electoral backlash.

It is for this reason that we should heed the words of President Ronald Reagan, who urged, “We should emphasize the things that unite us and make these the only ‘litmus test’ of what constitutes a Republican: our belief in restraining government spending, pro-growth policies, tax reduction, sound national defense, and maximum individual liberty.” He continued, “As to the other issues that draw on the deep springs of morality and emotion, let us decide that we can disagree among ourselves as Republicans and tolerate the disagreement.”

Click the image to watch.