How worried is Arlen Specter about his re-election prospects? Worried enough to go negative on Pat Toomey more than a year before a potential primary challenge. Specter paints Toomey as a big, bad Wall Street type who created all the problems America now faces:

Sadly, this will probably be at least somewhat effective. All we need to see to understand that is the high pitch of rabble that Congress roused in attacking AIG’s retention bonuses. Instead of asking what Specter did to stop the government intervention in the lending markets that created the housing bubble that really created this mess, some people will go into rabble mode and say “Wall Street baaaaaaaad,” with heavy emphasis on the baaaaaa.

Going negative this early is an admission of big trouble, though, and the perception of desperation could hurt Specter more than this tack will hurt Toomey.  Specter has decades in the Senate.  He can’t come up with a better reason for Pennsylvanians to send him back than Toomey’s work on Wall Street?  Well, for that matter, neither can I.