Short and Sweet Sunday.
The first 29 years were the easiest for former Republican Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who jumped ship into the Democratic fold in 2009 and is in the run of his life in 2010.
Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) are in a nasty little primary tussle for Specter’s seat. The race is basically about Specter’s party switch and 30-year incumbency. (Basically a four-letter word so far this campaign cycle.)
Speaking (separately) on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sestak accused specter of being a “poster boy” for what’s gone wrong in Washington. Specter accused Sestak of “dodging and weaving” around questions. For the record, Sestak wouldn’t say if he would support Specter if Specter wins on Tuesday. Specter said he would definitely support Sestak should Sestak prevail.
Who will win? Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told NBC he thinks Specter will pull it out. Senator Robert Bennett (R-Utah), the first big-name incumbent to fall in this election cycle says Specter is in “real trouble,” partly because of the atmosphere (and partly because even Specter might admit at this point that he that he botched the PR on the party switch.) Bennett says he “would not be surprised if Specter went down.
Oh, and the Republican’s number two man in the Senate, Jon Kyl of Arizona, says there will not be a filibuster of the Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.
Short and Sweet Sunday.
(CNN) - Just days before he stands before Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary voters, Sen. Arlen Specter, a former Republican, sought to cast his party switch of a year ago as a matter of principle rather than self-interested politics.
“For years, I've tried to moderate the Republican Party,” Specter, a five-term incumbent, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “And when the stimulus came up and President Obama asked me for his support - for my support, and it looked like we were sliding into a 1929 depression, I sided with President Obama.
“It wasn't my job to be saved. It was the jobs of thousands of Pennsylvanians and Americans.
“Look here, I had a clear shot at re-election. If I had stayed with the obstructionist Republican caucus, I would have been re-elected easily, especially in an out-year when the party out of power is favored.”
Specter added that he was at odds with the GOP because of his vote in favor of President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package.
Asked by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley about the anti-incumbent mood in the country with midterm elections six months away, Specter championed his record of ideological independence during his three decades in the Senate.
(CNN) – Two days before voters go to the polls in Pennsylvania’s closely watched Democratic Senate primary, Rep. Joe Sestak predicted Sunday he will emerge victorious over longtime Sen. Arlen Specter, partly because of the public’s anti-incumbent, anti-Washington mood.
Specter left the Republican Party last year and became a Democrat in the hopes of bettering his chances of re-election in November and because he felt the GOP was becoming more conservative. Beginning with President Obama, Specter was embraced by the Democratic establishment but in recent days Sestak has picked up the support of liberal MoveOn.org in his primary challenge to the ex-Republican. The latest polls show Sestak, once the underdog against Specter’s 30 years of incumbency, is now in a virtual tie with him and running competitively in a possible general election match-up against the likely Republican nominee.
In an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, Sestak said Specter exemplifies the public’s criticisms of Washington.
“Well, I think it's a race that actually, where everybody knows Washington's broken,” the two-term congressman told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “And everybody knows that if you're going to still send back to Washington, D.C. a career politician that actually would switch his party, as he said, to keep his job and we're not going to fix the mess that we got into by sending him back.
“And, so, yes, he's a poster child for what's gone wrong in Washington, D.C. - a generation of politicians who think that they can take a position not based upon conviction or core beliefs, but about their electoral prospects.
“So it is time, people say, for a different generation, a new generation, new ideas, new energy and someone who would be willing to lose their job over doing what's right for the people of Pennsylvania.”
Washington (CNN) - The White House has asked the National Archives to release 160,000 pages of documents from Elena Kagan's time in the Clinton White House to aid upcoming Senate confirmation hearings on her nomination to the Supreme Court.
A letter Saturday from Robert Bauer, the counselor to President Barack Obama, asked the archives to release all records involving Kagan's work as associate counsel to Clinton and deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council, as well as all e-mails and some other documents.
Kagan worked in the Clinton administration from 1995 to 1999.
Her confirmation hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to begin this summer, with Obama and Democrats hoping she can be seated in time for the new Supreme Court session in the fall.
While Kagan is expected to be confirmed, leading senators on the Judiciary Committee signaled Sunday that the hearing would be contentious.
(CNN) - Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin joined the national battle over Arizona's controversial new immigration law Saturday, appearing with Gov. Jan Brewer in Phoenix to denounce the Obama administration's criticism of the law.
"It's time for Americans across this great country to stand up and say 'We're all Arizonans now and, in clear unity, we say Mr. President, do your job, secure our border,'" Palin said, standing beside Brewer at a Saturday afternoon press conference.
Brewer used the event to announce her first appointment to the state's new Joint Border Security Advisory Committee and the launch of a website to combat what she said was a national misinformation campaign about the state's new law.
Palin and Brewer, both Republicans, decried plans by opponents of the new law to boycott the state in protest.