After 30 years of “serving” as a Republican, Arlen Specter will be tossing his hat in with the Democrats in name as well as in deed by running as a Democrat in 2010.
Statement by Senator Arlen Specter:
I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view. While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am. I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.
Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.
When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.
Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.
I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.
I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.
I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters. I can understand their disappointment. 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. I thank specially Senators McConnell and Cornyn for their forbearance.
I am not making this decision because there are no important and interesting opportunities outside the Senate. I take on this complicated run for re-election because I am deeply concerned about the future of our country and I believe I have a significant contribution to make on many of the key issues of the day, especially medical research. NIH funding has saved or lengthened thousands of lives, including mine, and much more needs to be done. And my seniority is very important to continue to bring important projects vital to Pennsylvania’s economy.
I am taking this action now because there are fewer than thirteen months to the 2010 Pennsylvania Primary and there is much to be done in preparation for that election. Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle.
While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.
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. Unlike Senator Jeffords’ switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.
Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy’s statement that sometimes Party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America.
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.
Gee… I wonder how Hugh Hewitt will spin THIS one on his radio show today???
I hope you guys know that if Franklin is seated that this means 60 votes in the senate. Which means Obama can pretty much do whatever he wants without Republican votes. Lmao! Oh I can’t wait to wacth Hanity and Bill try to spin this one. 😉
Ummm… last I checked Obie was doing pretty much whatever he wants with Specter’s vote.
What was your point again?
This is infuriating. Republicans in Pennsylvania were told by President Bush that they had to support Specter in a close relection fight in 2006 because it was important to maintain control of the Senate.
We lost the Senate anyway and we got stuck with this traitorous back stabbing @#$@(&*#$(*&@#$(&*@#$(*@&#$)(*&()*&%$(*)%^!(*@#$)(!@*&#$)(*&)@#(%$^()!@#%^*)@(*#$^)!(@#^*$)!(*#$)(
Good riddance is right. Specter has never really been a Republican nor has he done anything for Republicans. His reign is almost over. Switching to a Democrat may improve his odds but they still won’t be good enough.
[ Deleted by Aye – More mindless spatter from one of the resident sock puppets.]
Thank God! I have gotten so sick and tired of hearing that Obama is getting bipartisan support because of this hack. The press has always been all too willing to use him as a strawman representative of the GOP. Now if McCain and the waffle women from Maine would go away too at least we would have honest lines drawn between our parties.
He never was much use … In my opinion, American people need to understand what the progressives are and what they want to do, These RINOs just made it two choices between the same.
Maybe Specter is jealous of peppered toilet paper Joe and wants in on the fun. (and a T-Shirt)
Whatever happened to basic ethics in our goverenment? This is purely a move to stay in office since he would not win as a Republican next election. And people will still vote for him – that is the scary part.
I came across the original text of his speech:
“On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate for I will get my ass kicked by darn near anyone they put up against me. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the Democrats of Pennsylvania.
I have a better chance at staying in power as a Dem. The Dems know it, and I know it. So since they want to win in November 2010; I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary. LORD knows I won’t make it in the Republican one”.
I think that is what he really meant.
I read the article on Yahoo just now. (I know, leftist source, but I got what I needed out of it). Here’s Michael Steele:
Talk about hitting the nail on the head. Lmao!
…well, despite the “I am not happy” that I have in that quote, he is happy. You can’t leave out the conclusion of my quote when it answers your question:
That doesn’t sound like lament to me.
Imbeciles in Pa. had the opportunity to kick Moran out of the House and failed. Should they re-elect this thug, Pa. will “live in infamy” as a member of the United States.
The dilemma is that Specter, as a 30 year incumbent in Pennsylvania, was hard to unseat. Had Toomey beaten him in 2004, in the primaries, Toomey would probably have lost the general. Then where do we find ourselves? Trading in a RINO who votes with his party about 40% of the time for a Pennsylvania Democrat who would probably vote with Republicans 0% of the time.
I just feel a sense of relief that at least he’s going where he probably belongs.
This time around, I hope he gets his clock cleaned.
I sent him a pretty pointed email after he voted for the stimulus package (said I’d voted for him before, but would be working to defeat him in the primary). I like to think I did my very small part in pushing him over the edge :-).
That said, I think he will actually be much harder to unseat now. The Dem party apparatus probably won’t support a primary challenge from the left, and in the general election his centrist position will make him very strong.
“I sent him a pretty pointed email after he voted for the stimulus package (said I’d voted for him before, but would be working to defeat him in the primary). I like to think I did my very small part in pushing him over the edge :-).
That said, I think he will actually be much harder to unseat now. The Dem party apparatus probably won’t support a primary challenge from the left, and in the general election his centrist position will make him very strong.”
Bingo! The only reason he has been winning is because Democrats have been voting for him, I believe he will be an even harder guy to beat as a Democrat in Blue State Pennsylvania. Only two Republican Senators left in the upper East coast, and some want them tossed out for being a “Rino” as well as McCain. Specter made the comment at his News conference that the Republicans want to “purify the party” and that moderates are being driven out. The Democrats couldn’t do any better job of divide and conquer that Republicans are doing to themselves.
From the statement by Senator Arlen Specter:
“*..more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats.
That’s true but it was by design a temporary Republican tactic suggested by Rush Limbaugh, so don’t count on those 200,000 votes in 2010.
“*Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right.
I haven’t moved I’m ‘right’ where I have always been firmly inside the tent standing on Republican principles it is you (Spectre) who has moved ‘left’.
“*Last year, I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.
That’s because you (Spectre) not only ‘left’ the tent you’ve ‘left’ the reservation there aint nothin ‘right’ about you any more.
Good luck Arlen you’ll need it… to PA Republicans you were just a fence sitting RINO, to Democrats you are likely to morph from useful idiot Republican into nominated scapegoat….specially when Pat Toomey kicks yer @ss in the next PA election.