Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Two slices of toast

Two slices of toast

 

Pass the butter, please.

Arlen Specter just popped. You never know in politics, but based on my experience in watching polling trends, only a mid-May blizzard or some other freak phenominon of nature can at this point prevent the five-term senator from losing the Democratic primary to Rep. Joe Sestak of Delaware County, one week from tomorrow. Over the next week, you will see some remarkably nasty attack ads from Team Specter and intensive campaigng from his erstwhile East Falls neighbor Ed Rendell and maybe even from Barack Obama, although if anyone on the Democratic side has any common sense (heh) they will allow the president to save face by announcing that he's busy dealing with some crisis in D.C., since there are so many to choose from. None of this will work. Specter has already thrown the dirty-ad kitchen sink at Sestak.

It just hasn't worked.

What amazes me is that the pundits didn't see this coming a year ago. Everyone is acting all stunned by the Sestak ad showing Specter's endorsement from a Will Ferrell-esque George W. Bush and his political flirtations with Sarah Palin, when it was obvious a year ago that such an ad was coming and that it would destroy Specter and that he would melt faster than the Wicked Witch of the West the second that it hit the airwaves. Do the talking heads even know who votes in an off-year Democratic primary? If not, hop into my Prius and I'll drive you down to the Whole Foods and show you -- they are NOT voting for an ex-Bush "ally"...ever.

Also, there was so much talk of what a political genius that Specter is, when it turns out that his only genius is in using the power of incumbency to raise millions of dollars. In fact, his handling of the party switch -- when he looked into the camera and said the main reason he was switching parties was to get himself re-elected -- was actually the biggest political botch I have ever seen in my life. I'm sure he thought that didn't matter, because Rendell and Obama and the supposed Democratic machine would save him in the end. Except that those two guys and and the creaky "machine" couldn't elect a dogcatcher in Pennsylvania right now (I think Obama's fortunes here will improve greatly in 2012 as long as the economy improves as well -- but that's two long years away).

Which is why Specter is toast. Hey, it's been a heck of ride, Arlen, for about 50 years. Now Pennsylvania's senior senator will be able to enjoy something that I -- and quite possibly you -- will never experience.

Retirement.

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