Old Forge, Pennsylvania — One of the biggest primary fights in the country will take place in Pennsylvania today, and Arlen Specter will be lucky to hold on to his seat. He has won over a lot of Democrats with his deciding vote on the stimulus package, as well as voting for health care reform. His opponent, Rep. Joe Sestak, has been waging a tough campaign and the major polls have this race within a point or tied with plenty of undecideds.
I have been getting hammered all day with election robocalls, as there are other important races in Pennsylvania, but on television I’ve seen these two candidates really slugging it out. Sestak showing Specter arm in arm with George W. Bush, pictured with Sarah Palin, and stating very matter-of-fact that he switched parties so he could win re-election. Specter, for his part, has been hammering home the fact that Sestak was relieved of his command during his Navy career. He cited the magazine Navy Times as his source, and has not backed down from his claim. Arlen has also been touting his work for Pennsylvanians over the many years he has served. And here lies the conundrum.
In an anti-incumbent year, can a man who switched parties since the last cycle win re-election after supporting President Obama’s agenda in a state like Pennsylvania? Arlen Specter has been a Senator here for as long as I can remember, and there are a few things I do know about him. He is one of the hardest working men in Congress, especially for a man who is 80, and he is good for the state. You really need a good reason to get rid of someone here, because an inherent problem for a newly elected Senator in Washington is the lack of clout. In my concerns for the state of Pennsylvania, I won’t vote for someone who’s going to go to the back of the line. I was also troubled by Sestak’s unwillingness to release his Naval records over his dismissal, yet his response was to call Specter ‘a liar’ and provide no proof that the claim was incorrect.
The truth is Republicans never really liked Specter that much, and here’s one reason: You don’t know how he’s going to vote. In this respect, he’s unlike 95 other Senators in Congress. I like the fact that he’s not an ideologue. While others call him a traitor, I understand why he switched. For many in the GOP, If you’re not far-right, then you’re not right. His own party pushed him to the other side, and as I don’t care for blindly partisan politicians, I will vote for Specter. He fights for Pennsylvania, and that has to be considered here. I also want a Senator who will back up the President, because I have no intention on voting to go backwards again after just 16 months of a new administration. Republicans had their turn, 8 years worth. See ya in 2016!
My biggest problem with Arlen Specter was the ‘magic-bullet theory’ he came up with during the Warren Commission investigation of the JFK assassination. I consider that way more treasonous than switching over to run as a Democrat. But I choose between what’s offered at the voting booth. I have to admit I respect the fact that he really took it on the chin during the town hall ‘tea party’ debacles, but he didn’t run and hide. He faced the people, and he always comes out to talk about his choices, votes and positions when asked. That’s a lot more than I can say for John Ensign, who’s still dodging questions about his affairs. Or Sarah Palin, who will only take pre-screened questions. One thing’s for sure, this one will be close.
Sources: MSNBC, Rasmussen Polling, Quinnipac, Navy Times, FOX News