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Sestak a Conspicuous Absentee at Obama event in 'Burgh

Rep. Joe Sestak - ducking Obama or not welcome?

Rep. Joe Sestak is not going to be in Pittsburgh with President Obama this afternoon. His campaign released a flaccid statement (only in response to direct questions) saying that the new Democratic nominee for Senate had previous engagements with the Philadelphia council of building-trades unions and Philadelphia Fight, an HIV/AIDS charity. Sestak's press office did not give a time or place for either meeting.

These seem like cancellable meetings for an appearance with the President of the United States. Maybe Obama didn't invite Sestak, who has caused all kinds of dings to the presidential image as the paragon of transparencey by his assertion the White House offered him a job to forgo a primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter. Or, maybe Sestak doesn't want to be seen with Obama, considering that the National Journal's poll of polls finds an average fo 51.7 percent of Pennsylvania voters disapprove of the president's job performance, to 45 percent who approve.