Arlen Specter is not a happy man. In his new book he writes that after he switched parties and voted for Obamacare the Democrats threw him out like an old shoe.
According to the Hill which obtained an advanced copy of Specter’s new book “Life Among the Cannibals”
Specter laments that Obama and Vice President Biden did not do more to help him in the final days of his primary race against former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), who beat him 54 percent to 46 percent in the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate Democratic primary.
Specter writes that Obama turned down a request to campaign with him in the final days of the primary, because the president’s advisers feared he would look weak if he intervened and Specter lost.
“I realized that the president and his advisers were un-shy about supporting my candidacy after being stung by Obama’s failed rescue attempts for New Jersey governor Jon Corzine and Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley. They were reluctant to become victims of a trifecta,” he writes.
The snub was made all the more painful by Obama flying over Philadelphia en route to New York City a few days before the election and then on primary day jetting over Pittsburgh to visit a factory in Youngstown, Ohio, 22 miles from the Pennsylvania border, to promote the 2009 economic stimulus law. The painful irony for Specter is that his vote for the stimulus legislation, which was instrumental to its passage, hastened his departure from the Republican Party.
Specter was also disappointed that Biden, who was only a few blocks away at Penn University, did not attend a pre-primary day rally at the Phillies’s Citizens Bank Park — a missed opportunity Specter attributes to a failed staff-to-staff request.
Just over a year before, Obama and Biden welcomed Specter to the Democratic Party with a press conference at the White House and promised him his full support.
Specter believes Reid acted with “duplicity” while managing the party switch. Specter said Reid promised him that he would be recognized on the seniority list as a Democrat elected in 1980, but failed to deliver on it.
Had Specter been given the seniority he was promised, he would have become chairman of the powerful Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittee and next in line to chair the Judiciary Committee.
Instead, Reid stripped Specter of all his seniority by passing a short resolution by unanimous consent in a nearly-empty chamber, burying him at the bottom of the Democrats’ seniority list.
Specter found out about it after his press secretary emailed him a press account of the switch. Specter was floored that Reid had “violated a fundamental Senate practice to give personal notice to a senator directly affected by the substance of a unanimous consent agreement.”
Specter can whine all he wants, but if he took a look at history he would know that “turncoats” are usually disappointed, their old friends wont go near them, and their new friends don’t trust them.
Of course Obama wasn’t going to stick his neck out for Specter, first of all Obama doesn’t stick his neck out for anyone—especially when they are getting creamed. Harry Reid could promise all he wanted but the other Democratic Party senators wouldn’t stand for it.
The former senator from Pennsylvania was treated as expected, exploited for one vote and then tossed out with the trash. If he was a student of history Arlen Specter may have remembered that Benedict Arnold died lonely and penniless and heeded that example.