So here you’ve got a situation in which the vague Insider versus Outsider distinction between Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak breaks down in an unpredictable way, with Specter opposing escalation in Afghanistan and Sestak supporting it. It might be the only substantive policy difference between the two candidates. It’s definitely the only one in which Specter is credibly to the left of Sestak. And the war is just a non-factor in the primary! You can’t say voters in the primary embraced Sestak because of Afghanistan and you can’t say they embraced him in spite of it. When I started asking around about it, everything I heard was it just wasn’t an issue in the campaign. Gun that didn’t fire, bell that didn’t ring, dog that didn’t hunt, cliche that didn’t cliche.

Anyway, I wrote a probably-too-long reported piece about that for the Washington Independent this morning and it’s out now. I hope not to do any elections reporting for a very long time, as every time I try it, it gets further out of my lane, and I love the fact that that’s true.

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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