I think Murtha did just that plus some 201 currently sittling congressman and 44 currently sitting Senators in addition. I think it likely that everyone he asked said NO WAY.
Only when everyone who has something to lose had said NO did Murtha ask a FORMER Senator and a FORMER Speaker of the House to support him. They are two people with names that can not be hurt by supporting Murtha.
That says to me that everyone currently in office turned Murtha down. I don't know if any of those serving in the legislature felt that they could help Murtha, but we can certainly deduce that they feel campaigning for Murtha can certainly hurt them.
Very good points
I'm in total agreement with you re refusals by Murtha's fellow rats to defend and back him.
He went suddenly planning to campaign for many of his peers to basically none. Then as you pointed out in this reply, he has no current member or senator running out to help him.
We both know that the members of congress use private focus groups of selected voters to get their feelings on certain critical subjects. Apparently, Murtha didn't do well in these focus groups.
Public presumption of a win (very dangerous before it actually happens), and
Public presumption that they saw him as some kind of leader, instead of a useful idiot.
I remember reading awhile back that he had also made many enemies in his party over past actions, ABSCAM and the like.