Michael Barone - The Murtha district
Presumably there will be a special election in Pennsylvania 12 to replace Murtha on May 18, which is primary day. This is the only district in the nation that voted for John Kerry in 2004 and John McCain in 2008. You might want to explain that as an affinity for Vietnam veterans. The better explanation is that it is part of the Jacksonian belt that starts in southwest Pennsylvania and extends along the Appalachians and southwestward to Tennessee and Texas an area where Barack Obama ran very poorly in both the primaries and the general election in 2008. In any case, it voted only narrowly (51%-49%) for Kerry and favored McCain over Obama by an even narrower margin (49%-49%, a margin of 873 votes).
David Freddoso - Rep. Steve Cohen, D, already chasing Murtha's ambulance
In a television interview this afternoon, Democratic Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen pronounced judgment on the doctors who were operating on Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., when he died. Cohen, a government attorney before he began his political career, was asked about tort reform in health care when he brought up Murtha's death:
"As we speak today, Rep. John Murtha died. And he was my friend, and he served this country for many years...He died because, when he went in for gall bladder surgery, his intestine was perforated. And that shouldn't have happened. It was, from what I understand, malpractice."