The Hill is reporting on some tibdits from Arlen Specter’s forthcoming new memoir, Life Among the Cannibals. Specter feels that Democratrs used him to pass health care reform and then didn’t follow through on their promises to help him win his primary.
“I realized that the president and his advisers were gun-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 abandoned by Harry Reid, who had promised to protect the party-switcher’s seniority.
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 was left simmering after Reid’s spokesman at the time told the AP that Specter had known about the resolution and even joined in a deal to draft it, which Specter characterizes as a “falsification.”
If Reid had kept his word, Specter would have run for reelection as chairman of the Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services Committee and would have been next in line to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee (where he presumably would have promised to support all of Obama’s nominees, the pledge he made with regard to Bush in order to keep the gavel as a Republican).
I review Life Among the Cannibals in the March issue of The American Spectator.