Reid Wilson reports that President Obama is now soliciting volunteers for Arlen Specter in his primary race against Joe Sestak:

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) has powerful friends, and he’s using them to help him get through next month’s Dem primary — the first he will face as a Dem.

In a new email to supporters who have signed up for his vaunted email list, Pres. Obama is soliciting support for Specter’s primary campaign, touting Specter’s vote for the stimulus package, health care reform and financial regulatory reform.

Specter is “in a tight race for the Democratic nomination for Senate, and the primary is coming up soon on May 18th,” the email from Obama says. “Vice President Biden and I need him in Washington, fighting alongside us.”

The email asks for volunteers to help in advance of Specter’s impending primary against Rep. Joe Sestak (D).

The sign-up list can be found here.

Specter has received some negative attention of late for an ad criticizing Sestak’s naval record. Sestak has likened it to the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” ads from 2004, and has dispatched veterans to Specter events to demand an apology and an end to the spending on the ad. They even descended on an event Vice President Joe Biden gave on behalf of Specter last Friday.

Specter has tried to counter-attack by saying that Sestak’s introductory bio spot shows him in a naval uniform without a disclaimer that “military images and information do not imply endorsement by DOD [Department of Defense] or service branch.” So we’re at the dueling hissy fit stage of the campaign, although Specter’s ad was pretty out of bounds. In fact, that’s what the local Danville News said about it.

The two largest newspapers in the state, however, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, just endorsed Specter.

David Dayen

David Dayen