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The Sudden Utility Of Intra-party Challenges

One assumes the White House has been slightly annoyed by Pennsylivania Rep. Joe Sestak's likely primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter, the recent Democratic convert whom the party establishment has lined up to support. But with Specter suddenly getting religion on the public option--and looking increasingly like a reliable vote on health care generally--it's hard to say Sestak has been a bad thing for Obama so far. Almost makes you wonder if the White House is quietly encouraging it, at least for the moment. We certainly haven't heard about the kind of hardball in this race that we've seen in New York.

--Noam Scheiber