Striking behind enemy lines, Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) is circulating an endorsement from an unlikely source - the founder of the Pennsylvania chapter of the fiscally conservative Club for Growth, the organization that until recently was run nationally by primary challenger Pat Toomey.
William Parker, a financial consultant, wrote an open letter urging Toomey to quit the 2010 Senate primary because he can't win.
"His candidacy threatens to hand over total control of the federal government to the Democrats," Parker said. "I believe Sen. Specter is the only person who can keep that seat in the GOP column." Republicans have 41 seats in the Senate, just enough to filibuster unwelcome Democratic legislation.
Besides, Parker argues, Specter has been with conservatives on crucial issues even if he does have a tendency to go his own way. Among the Specter votes Parker cites: for the Defense of Marriage Act; against "partial birth" abortion; for the Reagan and Bush tax cuts; against reviving the Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting, which activists would threaten conservative talk-radio. Specter also was instrumental in winning Senate confirmation for Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Parker writes.