Specter To Seek Reelection . . . But on What Ticket?

Apparently Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter is giving strong consideration to running for reelection as an independent and not trying for the Republican nomination:

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2009/03/18/specter/index.html?source=newsletter

Its not a shocking development.  Specter simply is not as conservative as the modern Republican Party, not even close.  And, that has served him well in Pennsylvania, whose politics are moderate and sometimes quirky.  But its becoming increasingly difficult for him to fend off grumblings and challenges from those on his right flank in the state party.  And, as far as that goes, Specter used to be a Democrat.  He switched party affiliation back in the 60s when he ran for, and won, the office of District Attorney in Philadelphia.  The reasons were in no way idealogica; he was simply trying to get out around the machine that ran the Democratic Party in Philadelphia at the time.  But now the Northeastern “Rockefeller” Republican is a dying breed.  If Specter either leaves the party and/or fails to win reelection, it will basically leave the two Senators from Maine clinging to that more moderate, far less religious, brand of Republicanism.

And, on the practical level, if Specter runs as an independent against Toomey and against the Democrats, I would have to think that hands the election to the Democrats unless they run someone weak enough that Specter peels too many of their votes.  As I think and type at the same time, that could be a really entertaining 3 way battle.  As I blogged a couple weeks ago, I have no idea who the Democrats are going to run in this race.  I have even heard Franco Harris’ name.  Yes, that Franco Harris.  If the Democrats run someone to weak to prevent Specter from accumulating numbers on Squirrel Hill, and too poorly known in SE PA to eat into Specter’s homecourt advantage, and if Rendell doesn’t run hard against Specter, perhaps the Democrats run a paper candidate with the thinking they could let Specter win, fracture the state Republican party in the process, and then caucus with Democrats in the Senate  . . .  I would advise we all stay tuned.

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2 Responses to “Specter To Seek Reelection . . . But on What Ticket?”

  1. NG Lynd Says:

    Hey Jonathan,
    You know I live here in PA. I do not know if Specter will run, or if he could win. Specter is faily well-liked in PA, and he fits the PA type of politician. Pennsylvanians like moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans. I am ok with Specter, he has taken stands I do not like throughout the past, but I do sometimes agree with him. It would be nice to see the whole Repub party become moderate or centrist like this. We could work with them. I wish our bluedog Dems would run for Republican slots and win, ha. I like the paper candidate idea for Dems to let moderate Repubs win, actually. It is time for smarter, moderate people to start getting those southern Republican slots, as it is high time the southerners had representatives that stood up for their interests, even though they sometimes do not seem to understand what their own best interests are.

  2. NG Lynd Says:

    sorry I wrote Joanthan on that, I was thinking of a friend I wanted to write to while I was typing this out.!!

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