There is a bug report on SF that 'make static' fails for a Makefile.pre.in extension, see
Is that process still supported? Unless I'm mistaken, this is complicated by the fact that Makefile.pre.in packages use the Makefile.pre.in that comes with the package, not the one that comes with the Python installation.
Any insights welcome,
As long as it works, it works. I don't think there's a reason to spend more than absolutely minimal time trying to keep it working though -- we're trying to encourage everybody to migrate towards distutils. So (without having seen the SF report) I'd say "tough luck".
--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/%7Eguido/)