KQV AM 1410

KQV Editorial

Specter…The Defector

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     The defection of Senator Arlen Specter from the Republican Party to the ranks of the Democrats may have been a minor bombshell in Washington, but it came as no surprise to anyone knowledgeable in political lore.

     What gives the Specter defection special significance is the impact it has on the makeup of the United States Senate.  Of course, Democratic leaders welcomed Specter to their rolls with open arms, even knowing that he has always been a maverick who marches to his own drummer.

     The defection of Specter coupled with the predicted victory of Al Franken in the contested Senatorial campaign in Minnesota will give the Democrats the coveted 60-vote filibuster-proof margin in the Senate.

     Specter, of course, says he didn’t desert the Republican Party.  He claims the Republican Party has deserted him…that the conservative wing of the GOP has taken greater control and that is incompatible with most of his views.

     In our opinion, there is a much more practical side to this defection.  We suspect that Senator Specter has been intimidated by recent polls that show he would have lost the battle for the Republican Senatorial nomination to rival Pat Toomey in the 2010 Primary Election.  Specter almost lost the last time around and, as a career politician, this possibility had to have had a strong influence on his decision.

     Specter would fare much better in a general election in 2010, running as a Democrat with the Democratic Party having a significant majority in Pennsylvania’s voter registration.  He has been a controversial figure during his 29 year career in the Senate.  He has his supporters and he has his critics and they are highly partisan.

     Over the years, Specter’s record shows that most of his views take him into the Democratic tent, but it is acknowledged that he is a politician personified and he has always played his cards with his own well-being uppermost in his mind.

     It should also be noted that Specter, with an eye on the 2010 Election, should not be taken for granted that he will win the Democratic primary.  There are a number of strong Democrat figures who probably will challenge the Senator…a man who is 79 years old with many major health problems.

    Political pundits express the view that Specter does what’s advantageous for Specter and, in the months ahead, it will be high drama to see how this all plays out…so stay tuned!!!


Robert W. Dickey


KQV Newsradio
May 8, 9, 10, 2009                                                           

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