Arlen Specter, he of many faces, is gone. His epitaph will be that he turned his back on his friends, only to turn his back on those friends… one too many times out there, Arlen. Arlen Specter is a victim of his own perfidy. There was a time that Specter could count on wide support. Voters turned on him. Republicans didn’t like him and Democrats didn’t trust him. The huge inner city voter turnout he was gambling on didn’t develop.
The ‘incumbent’ syndrome most certainly came into play here as the voters turned away from Specter, voting instead for former Admiral, Rep. Joe Sestak. Sestak now goes on to face Conservative Republican Pat Toomey in November.
Rand Paul, son of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, won a walk-away victory in Kentucky against Republican Trey Grayson. Rand Paul was able to paint Grayson as the quintessential country club Republican. Paul proudly identifies himself as a ‘Tea Party’ member and they certainly came out for him in force.
Senator Arlen Specter was a registered Democrat in Pennsylvania from the age of 21 to 35. Like any sensible person, he became a Republican in his 30s, even though he switched parties not so much to suit his changing political philosophy as to be able to challenge an incumbent Democrat for the job of district attorney in Philadelphia in 1965.
A funny thing happened when Senator Specter turned 79 last year: he decided that his 21- to 35-year-old political self had been wiser than his 35- to 79-year-old self. (Given his voting record for most of his Senate career, it’s hard to quibble with this point.)
Arlen Spectacle (as Mark Levin calls him) categorically stated in March 2009, “To eliminate any doubt, I am a Republican, and I am running for reelection in 2010 as a Republican on the Republican ticket.” A month later, after genuine conservative Pat Toomey had thrown his hat into the ring for the Republican nomination, Specter announced that, to eliminate any doubt, he was a Democrat, and was running for reelection in 2010 as a Democrat on the Democratic ticket.
Specter inarguably changed parties to avoid a repeat of his close race in 2004 with Toomey, whom Specter beat with a measly 51% of the vote, despite the advantages of incumbency and overwhelming support from the national and state party establishments, including President George W. Bush and fellow Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. As early as April 2009, just three months into Obama’s presidency, Specter must have sensed that the burgeoning anti-incumbent mood would smother him by the time of the 2010 primaries, and so he deserted the GOP. read more »