Obama, Biden to raise money for Specter

Sen. Arlen Specter (D) will welcome President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to Pennsylvania in the coming months as he looks to build his financial lead in his race for reelection.

The president will attend a Sept. 15 fundraiser for Specter at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, while the vice president will join the new Democrat for an event in Western Pennsylvania later this fall.

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Fundraisers for Specter's campaign hope to raise $2.5 million during the event in Philadelphia, according to an e-mail invitation obtained by the Philadelphia Daily News. The event has already raised $600,000, and backers have committed another $700,000 to organizers, wrote David Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast and a major Specter donor.

Obama and Biden both pledged to support Specter after he bolted the Republican Party in late April. Biden, who as a Delaware senator had a close working relationship with his Pennsylvania colleague, had long worked to convince Specter to jump ship.

"We asked the president to help us [by] campaigning with us and doing a fundraiser, and they were gracious enough to say yes," Chris Nicholas, Specter's campaign manager, told The Hill.

Specter has worked to consolidate his support within his new party, aiming to cut off a primary challenge from Rep. Joe Sestak (D). Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D) and Gov. Ed Rendell (D), two prominent Specter backers, will also be at the Sept. 15 event with the president.

Details of the event featuring Biden have yet to be finalized.

Money raised at both events will help Specter increase his financial advantage over Sestak and ex-Rep. Pat Toomey, the leading contender in the Republican field. At the end of June, Specter had more than $7.5 million in the bank compared to Sestak's $4.26 million. Toomey held $1.1 million in cash reserves.