Specter: On second thought …

posted at 2:35 pm on April 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

A year ago today, Arlen Specter switched political parties after seeing primary polling results that made him too nervous to fight Pat Toomey for his seat.  Now facing a tough primary fight as a Democrat, Specter tells the Morning Call that he may have made a mistake:

For three decades, Specter prided himself on being a coalition builder, relishing a self-appointed role as a liaison striving to find the moderate solutions to liberal and conservative extremes.

Now as a Democrat, that role has vanished. For that reason alone, Specter has questioned his storied party switch.

”Well, I probably shouldn’t say this,” he said over lunch last month. ”But I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the country more if I’d stayed a Republican.”

Colby Itkowitz could hardly have written a more flattering portrayal of Specter. The article paints Specter as a coalition-builder who sacrificed himself for the good of the country by defying his party’s leadership in supporting the stimulus bill in February 2009. For that act of political independence, the GOP turned on Specter and backed Toomey instead. Rather than kneel at the feet of conservatives, as Itkowitz accuses John McCain of doing, Specter bravely returned to the Democratic Party.

There are several problems with this report. First, the same GOP backed Specter against Toomey in 2004 in the primary, narrowly rescuing him from defeat. For that act of loyalty, Specter backed a Porkulus bill that would have otherwise failed — and the failure would have forced Democrats to compromise with Republicans in Congress on a bipartisan bill. Instead, Congress passed a spending spree that will cost over $830 billion — all borrowed — and none of which has had any effect on the economy. That was why Republicans opposed the bill in the first place, and Specter’s Me Moment allowed that albatross to be hung around America’s neck.

Furthermore, Toomey had already planned to run against Specter in this cycle, and Specter certainly knew it. Moreover, Toomey had built more credibility in the intervening five years as a pro-growth, small-government candidate. And even with that, the national GOP started pressuring Toomey to pull out of the race in March and April of 2009, with none other than the NRSC and John Cornyn warning Toomey that national resources wouldn’t get spent in Pennsylvania if he managed to beat Specter in the primary. The notion that the national party abandoned Specter is pure myth, originating with Specter and amplified by Itkowitz.

While Specter spends the day involved in his little pity party, Toomey is conducting a “money bomb” fundraiser which has already hit six figures. Ask yourself which party you’d rather attend.


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Toomey had build more credibility

Annoying grammar police are coming for you Ed!

lorien1973 on April 28, 2010 at 2:37 PM

No turn backs Arlen.

upinak on April 28, 2010 at 2:37 PM

lorien1973 on April 28, 2010 at 2:37 PM

And I’m going to the embedded quote prison myself. :(

lorien1973 on April 28, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Jerk.

Bruno Strozek on April 28, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Will someone toss this man a frikkin bone already?

Johnnyreb on April 28, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Translation: maybe I could have had my ego stroked more as a GOP swing vote.

Wethal on April 28, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Being rid of Specter for the past 365 days has been totally worth all of the hand wringing and party cleansing articles and punditry that we had to put up with right after the switch.

myrenovations on April 28, 2010 at 2:39 PM

“I don’t get paid extra to do my job, young lady”

BobMbx on April 28, 2010 at 2:39 PM

One Way traffic only, Arlen.

portlandon on April 28, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Specter tells the Morning Call that he may have made a mistake

Nope, that was no mistake. He is now with the party to which he has belonged for many years but would never admit it.

UltimateBob on April 28, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Suck it Specter. Go cry in your oatmeal. I hope you have plenty of time to reflect on your choices after 2010.

Monica on April 28, 2010 at 2:40 PM

”But I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the country more if I’d stayed a Republican never run for a second term.”

petefrt on April 28, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Please don’t say you’re going to switch back Arlen. What a desperate little man this is.

jeanie on April 28, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Arlen needs to go away.

trigon on April 28, 2010 at 2:40 PM

The most damning line from that article:

Specter pledged not to be an automatic ”yes” vote for Democrats, but since switching he’s toed the party line on nearly every issue, even those he opposed in the past.

The story says he voted with the GOP about 50% of the time, but has voted with the Dems about 99% of the time.

He might as well make this his campaign slogan.

Slublog on April 28, 2010 at 2:41 PM

No turn backs Arlen.

upinak on April 28, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Too late. He already did once before:

“In 1965, Specter ran for District Attorney, on the Republican ticket as a registered Democrat.”

MassVictim on April 28, 2010 at 2:41 PM

arlen:ruh roh

cmsinaz on April 28, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Specter:
“Guess what party I am today? Nope; Wrong again. I’m a ‘flippin’ Whig’ today!

Cybergeezer on April 28, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Specter belongs to the “S” Party, i.e, the Party of Specter.

Self serving scumbag.

rbj on April 28, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Michael Steele to extend and invitation for Specter to rejoin the GOP in 5… 4… 3…

Midas on April 28, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Fail, thy name is Arlen Specter.

Now go away and take that sub-moronic “Magic Bullet” theory with ya, jackass!

SuperCool on April 28, 2010 at 2:43 PM

We need a fresh batch of Republicans badly. The usual suspects are getting thread bare.

saiga on April 28, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Specter belongs to the “S” Party, i.e, the Party of Specter.

rbj on April 28, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Also known as POS. And that’s exactly what he is.

UltimateBob on April 28, 2010 at 2:45 PM

myrenovations on April 28, 2010 at 2:39 PM

amen

cmsinaz on April 28, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Time for this pipsqueak to hang it up and look forward to a nice quiet pasture.

belad on April 28, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Act like a lady, Arlen.

Doughboy on April 28, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Every politician is expendable…they all act like they are the only ones that can make the “right” decision.

“The graveyards are full of indispensable men”…De Gaulle
-
We must keep this mind this election, no one is indispensable, every elected official can be voted out of office and nothing ill will happen…unless you elect someone worse.

right2bright on April 28, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Specter:
“There HAS to be a Party out there that would appreciate me! But, which one?”

Cybergeezer on April 28, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Specter:
“There HAS to be a Party out there that would appreciate me! But, which one?”

Cybergeezer on April 28, 2010 at 2:46 PM

The Coffee Party?

Doughboy on April 28, 2010 at 2:48 PM

He’s already switched parties twice. Republicans don’t want him anymore!

Why doesn’t Benedict Arlen run for Prime Minister of Great Britain as a Liberal Democrat? He’d fit right in there!

Steve Z on April 28, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Arlen to GOP: Come back to me!

GOP to Arlen: Come back, Toomey!

Steve Z on April 28, 2010 at 2:51 PM

When the gates of Hell have closed behind you it is a little late to wonder if you should have taken another path.

Now get out and luxuriate in the pension we are compelled to provide.

R Square on April 28, 2010 at 2:51 PM

I’m sorry Sen Specter. I was too busy lavishing in the schadenfreude and laughing at your misfortune to hear what you were saying. Could you repeat that again please?

Pcoop on April 28, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Help the country more by getting the hell out of politics… or better… get out of the country….

CynicalOptimist on April 28, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Buh Bye Arlen. There’s a game of bingo waiting for you somewhere.

search4truth on April 28, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Nothing worse than an ingrate and a Judas. May the ants eat him, slowly.

I respect convicted far lefties more than him. I hope he never rests peacefully, due to his conscience not allowing him to do so. The party stood by him in his neediest hour and he kicked it in the balls. In fact, he kicked both parties in the cojones and can go to he*l on Earth.

Schadenfreude on April 28, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Pathetic.

Cicero43 on April 28, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Act like a lady, Arlen.

Doughboy on April 28, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Campaign slogan, perhaps?

Bruno Strozek on April 28, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Sorry Specter, no take backs.

tommer74 on April 28, 2010 at 2:54 PM

I’ll bet Benedict Arnold got glowing press in the British papers too.

Cicero43 on April 28, 2010 at 2:54 PM

I’d say he burned that bridge to the ground.

TXMomof3 on April 28, 2010 at 2:55 PM

There are several problems with this report. First, the same GOP backed Specter against Toomey in 2004 in the primary, narrowly rescuing him from defeat. For that act of loyalty, Specter backed a Porkulus bill that would have otherwise failed — and the failure would have forced Democrats to compromise with Republicans in Congress on a bipartisan bill.

Be fair to Specter… he got Alito and Roberts through… which was about all the good that came out of Bush’s second term….

ninjapirate on April 28, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Someone should send this link to Crist, so he doesn’t become the next Arlen.

MTF on April 28, 2010 at 2:57 PM

I am seeing serious signs of dementia. Retire, please.

Cindy Munford on April 28, 2010 at 2:57 PM

One Way traffic only, Arlen.

portlandon on April 28, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Charlie Crist might want to check out this “sign” also.

Rovin on April 28, 2010 at 2:59 PM

If Arlen really wanted to help his country, he would have retired. Go home Arlen!

d1carter on April 28, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Someone suggest to Sen. Spector that all those politicians without a party get together and start one.
they could call it the ‘radical leftist, independent, left of center moderate opportunist party’.

Skandia Recluse on April 28, 2010 at 3:03 PM

If you live by that sword, you die by it.

No sympathy whatsoever.

Buh-bye, Arlen. Enjoy retirement.

badtemper on April 28, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Specter = spectator

JusDreamin on April 28, 2010 at 3:06 PM

I can only think of one word – selfish

Vashta.Nerada on April 28, 2010 at 3:06 PM

“But I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the country more if I’d stayed a Republican.””

No, Arlen, you have helped the country far more by returning to your native party. Thank you. Good luck.

ncjetsfan on April 28, 2010 at 3:10 PM

But I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the country more if I’d stayed a Republican.”

Your kind of help this country does not need…

Badbrucskie on April 28, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Go home Arlen

But he forgot where he lives!

Emperor Norton on April 28, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Here’s why Arlen is thinking wistfully about his bad decision, and why Crist should read Ed’s post before announcing his self-destruction.

MTF on April 28, 2010 at 3:13 PM

We need a fresh batch of Republicans badly. The usual suspects are getting thread bare.

saiga on April 28, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Too true!

Mulligan on April 28, 2010 at 3:13 PM

The senile factor comes into play with Arlen Specter; nobody is quite sure he is dealing with a full deck. I feel sad for him actually – too long an incumbent and in need of being voted out of office for his own good.

IntheNet on April 28, 2010 at 3:15 PM

”But I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the country more if I’d stayed a Republican.”

Joe Sestak’s next commercial just wrote itself.

KeepOhioRed on April 28, 2010 at 3:17 PM

I continue to picture Specter wondering the halls of Congress, going from one locked door to another, with a confused and frightened look on his face, clutching old, out dated legislation in one hand, and holding up his pants with the other…

Seven Percent Solution on April 28, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Sen. Nobody in no-man’s-land.

maverick muse on April 28, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Suprise! The deciding vote on a $778 Billion Democrat slush fund, and they don’t even say ‘thank you’ to him. The ingrates….

percysunshine on April 28, 2010 at 3:19 PM

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to casting a vote for Toomey and against Specter.

Jill1066 on April 28, 2010 at 3:20 PM

“The World needs ditch-diggers, Danny Arlen”

olesparkie on April 28, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Arlen is just bummed that he’s just another Barry stooge.
Can’t get the media love he was used to as the back-stabbing Republican.

jjshaka on April 28, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Nobody here misses you.

Mr. Joe on April 28, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Arlen, that pig wandered out of the pen long ago. Oh wait, that pig is you.

Mr. Joe on April 28, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Methinks Arlen made one calculation too many.

SKYFOX on April 28, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Well, I probably shouldn’t say this,” he said over lunch last month. ”But I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the country more if I’d stayed a Republican.”

Well sir, I have thought from time to time that the country is truly screwed. To have you cynically say that helping the country is your main concern right now is pathetically self serving.
I present you with a fully extended and heartfelt middle finger.

ontherocks on April 28, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Take McCains hand and walk slowly into the past. Bye Bye

Wade on April 28, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Bye Arlen. Hey, Pennsylvania?! Next please.

ted c on April 28, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Two songs come to mind …

“Hit the road Jack, and don’t ya come back no more no more no more no more, hit the road Jack, and don’t ya back no mooooore” – Ray Charles

And …

“Girl, don’t go away mad,
girl, just go away” – Motley Crue

Tony737 on April 28, 2010 at 3:50 PM

What a fair weather douche bag.

Do us all a big favor Specter, and just fade away quietly into the night.

jjrakman on April 28, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Arlen, if you start acting like a lady we will treat you like a lady.

Now get me a sammich and a cold beer!!!

trs on April 28, 2010 at 3:52 PM

So much for doing what is right for the country.

rjoco1 on April 28, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Term Limits!

kirkill on April 28, 2010 at 4:00 PM

In announcing his move across the aisle last week, Specter asserted that Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) had assured him he would retain his seniority in the Senate and on the five committees on which he serves. Specter’s tenure ranked him ahead of all but seven Democrats.

Was Reid lying about his promises Arlen? Democrats lie from what I see.

seven on April 28, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Hey Arlen…the Pity Party’s calling.

yoda on April 28, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Here’s a little something for Specter. Maybe ol’ Hank will listen. ;)

TQM38a on April 28, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Let’s try this again.

Boohoo

TQM38a on April 28, 2010 at 4:46 PM

This August, or maybe as late as this November, Specter will experience an ignominious but altogether fitting end to a meaningless 30 career as a wish-washy and useless public servant drone.

It’s time to send him packing.

For that matter, when is John Cornyn up again?

Everytime Cornyn looks in the mirror, he should see Bob Bennett, of Utah.

molonlabe28 on April 28, 2010 at 4:56 PM

..your sphincter hurt a little after being Obama’s butt-boy-for-a-day, Arlen?

The War Planner on April 28, 2010 at 5:00 PM

I might have helped the country more if I’d stayed a Republican. resigned my seat in the Senate.

FIFY.

BobOfTexas on April 28, 2010 at 5:01 PM

I’m a ‘flippin’ Whig’ today!

Cybergeezer on April 28, 2010 at 2:42 PM

That’s funny, I woulda sworn he was a Know-Nothing

ya2daup on April 28, 2010 at 5:41 PM

We must keep this mind this election, no one is indispensable, every elected official can be voted out of office and nothing ill will happen…unless you elect someone worse.

right2bright on April 28, 2010 at 2:46 PM

With this batch that would be hard to do.

Slowburn on April 28, 2010 at 5:53 PM

See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!!!

ladyingray on April 28, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Whatevs. See ya , dont wanna be ya.

5u93rm4n on April 28, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Wow , ladyingrey, that’s wild , weird stuff.

5u93rm4n on April 28, 2010 at 7:07 PM

Arlen thinks that he’s funny because he’s a comedian’… clueless

whiskeytango on April 28, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Tony737 on April 28, 2010 at 3:50 PM

I can’t help thinking of some lyrics from a 3rd song…

“Regrets, I have a few, but then again, too few to mention…”

DrAllecon on April 29, 2010 at 12:31 AM

Sen. Specter represents what is wrong with our government. Switching parties and political view points to get the recognition they crave.

MSGTAS on April 29, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Maybe he should ask Charlie Crist for Rahm’s number….

Oyster on April 29, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Specter is a supreme egotist as is Charlie Crist. They really believe they are indispensable. They’ll wear whatever hat they think will get them a seat of power. It isn’t about loyalty or ideology, it’s about themselves and their marvelous minds–in their own minds. Big surprise coming up guys.

pesank on April 29, 2010 at 12:53 PM