Posted on | May 12, 2010 | 18 Comments
“Specter will be less useful to the Democrats now than he ever was when he had an ‘R’ beside his name.”
— Robert Stacy McCain, April 28, 2009
Arlen Specter’s belief that he would be welcomed warmly by Democrats was never realistic. Liberals had cheered him every time when, as a Republican, he plunged his knife into the backs of his colleagues, but why would Democrats invite a known backstabber into their own ranks?
[O]ne year after he switched his affiliation from Republican to Democrat in part to claim a sixth term, he is still viewed with suspicion by many in the party and faces the gravest threat of his 30-year Senate career because a significant portion of Democratic voters simply cannot get accustomed to the idea that Specter is one of them.
Rep. Joe Sestak, a second-term congressman and retired admiral, is surging in the polls and seems to have momentum headed into Tuesday’s primary . . .
Concern about such a Sestak surge — a gut-hunch that, in the end, Democrats would prefer to vote for an actual Democrat — was what inspired my “Republicans for Specter” idea. We want Arlen to win the Democratic primary, so he can lose in November. Look at the polls:
R – Pat Toomey . . . . . . . . . 50%
D – Sen. Arlen Specter . . . . 38%
Franklin & Marshall
R – Pat Toomey . . . . . . . . . 48%
D – Sen. Arlen Specter . . . . 36%
Republican Pat Toomey would stomp Specter into geriatric smithereens in November, and the attendant demoralization of Democratic voters would help GOP candidates down the ticket. If Specter should lose the primary, however, Joe Sestak might be able to rally Democrats. Sestak would certainly get more support from independents, who can at least respect an honest Democrat, whereas a political hermaphrodite like Specter . . . not so much.
Specter’s meltdown was accelerated when Sestak hit him with this ad reminding Democratic primary voters that Specter was endorsed by the detested George W. Bush:
So Specter fires back with this ad featuring Obama’s endorsement:
Some clever fellow responded by putting together this mash-up ad:
Even if Specter’s got Obama on TV, though, that isn’t quite the same as having Obama in the flesh:
Arlen Specter launched a TV ad Tuesday featuring the Democrats’ biggest star, President Barack Obama.
But Obama won’t be bringing his star power to Pennsylvania to stump for Specter ahead of next week’s primary election, according to the White House. . . .
The new ad follows a statewide anti-Specter ad put out by Joe Sestak, Specter’s challenger in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary. Sestak’s ad shows then-Republican Specter receiving similar accolades from President George W. Bush in 2004. . .
Specter’s Obama ad will play especially well in Philadelphia, where both men remain popular. Philadelphia is Specter’s traditional base, and his political future may hinge on voter turnout in the city. But Obama’s failing to appear there in person may hurt Specter’s effort to energize the base.
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden confirmed on NBC’s ‘ ‘Today” show Tuesday that he will be campaigning for Specter before next week’s primary.
So the White House is sending in the B-team, suggesting that they’ve spotted him for a hopeless loser and don’t want to diminish the President’s prestige any further by associating Obama too directly with that useless old crapweasel, Arlen Specter.
“You almost feel sorry for Arlen Specter. I mean: Almost.”
— Charle Krauthammer
Exit question: If Democrats can see through Arlen Specter, why are some Republicans still supporting useless crapweasel John McCain?