Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Longtime GOP Sen. Specter Intends to Switch Political Parties
Republican voters had sent Arlen Specter to the Senate five times, but faced with the prospect of a strong challenge from conservative Pat Toomey in the GOP primary and the state trending Democratic, Specter jumped ship.

Veteran GOP Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania intends to announce Tuesday he will switch political parties and run in the Democratic primary in 2010.

Republican voters had sent him to the Senate five times. But faced with the prospect of a strong challenge from conservative Pat Toomey in the GOP primary and the state trending Democratic, Specter jumped ship.

"I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters," Specter said in prepared remarks to be delivered at a news conference on Tuesday.

"I can understand their disappointment," he continued. "I am also disappointed that so many in the party I have worked for for more than four decades do not want me to be their candidate. It is very painful on both sides."

The switch puts Democrats within one vote of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Democrats currently hold 56 seats in the Senate, and two independents typically vote with the party. Republicans have 41 seats, and there is one vacancy.

Specter was facing a tough primary challenge from Pat Toomey, head of the conservative Club for Growth, who almost defeated Specter in a 2004 GOP primary.

Specter said he is acting now because he needs to prepare for the state primary that is less than 13 months away.

"Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle," he said in the prepared remarks.

Despite the change in political stripes, Specter vowed to remain an independent voice in the Senate.

"My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans," he said in the statement.

"Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy's statement that sometimes party asks too much," he continued. "When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America."

Specter was under heavy fire from conservatives for his support of President Obama's $787 stimulus bill earlier this year. Specter helped negotiate a compromise that was approved by Congress with the support of only three Republicans.

After Obama was notified of Specter's decision Tuesday morning during his economic daily briefing ,Obama reached out to Specter and said "you have my full support" and that Democrats are "thrilled to have you," a senior administration official told FOX News.

Political experts in Pennsylvania note that Specter has alienated the Republican base over the years with his support for abortion rights and gay rights, and other more hard-core conservative issues. His approval ratings among Republicans hovered dangerously in the 30s, according to a handful of polls conducted this year.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., praised Specter's decision and noted that he has always been willing to work in a bipartisan manner.

"I welcome Sen. Specter and his moderate voice to our diverse caucus, and to continuing our open and honest debate about the best way to make life better for the American people," he said in a statement.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Tuesday that he was notified of Specter's decision that morning and that he got the impression that "a great party left him, not the other way around."

He added that he is not surprised by the decision and expects Specter to remain as independent as ever.

(This is no loss to Conservatives. Good riddance Senator Specter! Yeah, I said it, you are entitled to my opinion. VN8)


Anonymous said...

I say good riddance also. I say Please take John and Meghan McCain,Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe also.

VoteNovember2008 said...

FD, THANK YOU very much! The whole lot of them! Senator Specter can kiss the ass of Senator Byrd! Sorry, but that's just my opinion! Thanks for stopping by! Keep the faith, VN8

Lee said...

And he can kiss Teddy Kennedy's corpulent arse too. Please allow me some thoughts on Specter: Here was a guy, believing he couldn't win as a Dem, who was swept into office with RR. Since then, the GOP has supported the ingrate despite his many sell outs of the party and its ideals. Why, in God's name, would the Republicans continue to support him? He has ill-served his constituency and party. How long would the Dems have supported such behavior? Lieberman and Miller found out.

To borrow a bit from Jackie and Dunlap, the Dems believe they're the big tent. The party of gays, minorities, illegals, abortionists, the unions, the Screen Actors Guild, etc. All of these groups believe they're owed something but there are no common ideals outside of abortion. The Republicans are little better most of the time in that they can't seem to commit to ideals for long, but at least they believe the people should come to the party, not the other way around, if you see what I mean. Anyway, good riddance to Specter. Now please excuse me while I contribute to Pat Toomey's campaign.

Lee said...

Here's Harry Reid's quote from your post: "I welcome Sen. Specter and his moderate voice to our diverse caucus, and to continuing our open and honest debate about the best way to make life better for the American people."

You got that? The best way to make life better for the people? The peasants? The proletariat? Why would they believe they're capable of making life better? What a narcissistic thought.

Verification word: judis. I know the spelling is off but it's close enough!

Anonymous said...

If they had any clue as to how to make life better for the American people, we'd be working on getting them, well, working! It's not as if Specter did anything for republicans in the first place. Lee makes the point that most of the dems are entitlement-mentality types who really have little in common other than that. Exploiting this might be a good start, considering the huge bill these guys are ringing up. Other than a big group hug, nothing has changed for Americans.

To even imply that "a better life" for Americans is possible at the hands of Reid, Pelosi, Kennedy et. al. is ourtight laughable! The very idea that real work is required to improve such a life is being drained from the people by these liberals every day. How in the heck do they think they're going to turn it around?

I may catch hell for this, but I think every liberal in the country should be required to watch Mike Judge's "Idiocracy" ... in addition to perhaps "A Clockwork Orange", as well as reading Atlas Shrugged.

VoteNovember2008 said...

Lee, ditto on kissing Senator Kennedy's ass, the mans never had a "real" job! I for one want the whole lot of Democrats to stop worrying about the peasants, I'm probably classified as one and let me take care of my damn self. Benedict Arlen is what they are calling him. Hope his immune system is in tact, he's getting readt to be put through the stress test!Maybe he and Uncle Teddy can share a ward at the socialized hospital together! VN8

VoteNovember2008 said...

OM1, testify and tell it like it is brother! Pardon my french but these SOB's are so out of touch with reality they don't know which end is up! The American people are the only ones who can give them a dose of reality and I hope I'm ready willing and able to give 'em their first dose! Atlas is definitely tilting, I hope he's strong enoug to keep from shruggin cause the people are coming out of their slumber like a bear and I believe they are madder than hell! VN8/BB

Lee said...

Until this Newsbusters piece I had forgotten all about Specter's connection to Ira Einhorn. As the author points out, you can't blame Specter for what happened here but had this been a Democrat defecting to the GOP the headlines would be screaming it. Anyway, it's a strange story that you may recall.

Anonymous said...

I will say Amen to that sister. Now if we can just get rid of all the other RINOs, the party will be better off.

Anonymous said...

I think we're seeing a reorganization of the republicans. Steele has his work cut out for him because the knee-jerkers would LOVE a one-party system, but they know there are far too many of us, and we wouldn't want to disenfranchise anyone now, would we? We may yet see a stronger republican ... perhaps even more dedicated to traditional fiscal and social conservatism. The key is holding BO to one term and setting the agenda to unscrew what he's done.

VoteNovember2008 said...

Scalawag, Ditto brother! We are well on our way to flushing them all out! VN8

VoteNovember2008 said...

OM1, Yep, there certainly are more of us than they imagined. We have also been fairly silent up until this point. I wondered what would cause us to get sick and tired and tired and sick and the "STIMULUS BILL" sent us all over the edge. We are living during exciting times. We actually have an opportunity to get this Great Nation back on track. Personal Responsibility and Fiscal Responsibility, Freedom for all and less TAX! Hold on to your hats boys and firls, we are in for a bumpy ride, but the destination is a Shining City on the Hill! VN8