Tue, 28 Apr 2009 19:51:41 +0000 – By Andrea TantarosRepublican Political Commentator/FOXNews.com Contributor
Good riddance, Arlen.
In perhaps the boldest display of power lust and personal gain the Keystone State has seen in decades, lifelong faux Republican Senator Arlen Specter has officially shown his true colors and switched to the Democratic Party. But the only party he has reallybeen concerned with for the last 19 years has been his own, and making sure it doesn't come to an end.
For almost the past twenty years Republicans have watched in awe as Specter has rebuffed the GOP on some of the most serious and sensitive issues by siding with Democrats. A maverick? No. Manic? Maybe. An opportunist? Yes. The career politician has voted almost 60 percent of the time with the opposing party. These highly calculated snubs have only earned him the ire of Republicans, but also the distrust of Dems. Until today, he always had an "R" behind his name, after all.
Can the ultimate, finger in the wind, luke warm legislator actually win a Keystone State election in November?Specter saw the writing on the wall when it came to his re-election. He knew he couldn't beat the younger, more politically pure, fiscally savvy former Congressman Pat Toomey who announced just a few weeks ago. Specter was trailing some 20 plus points in the Pennsylvania primary last week according to some polls. His crucial votes on the stimulus and the massive Wall Street and Detroit bailouts sealed his fate with a Republican electorate that has been increasingly dissatisfied with the rapid growth of government. Plus, with Republicans defecting in droves to vote in the Democrats' 2008 presidential primary, the pool has been skimmed of its lukewarm constituency. The current crop of registered Pennsylvania Republicans leans more conservative.
This begs the question: can the ultimate, finger in the wind, luke warm legislator actually win a Keystone State election in November? Not if he faces a tough primary challenge from a moderate; and in Pennsylvania there are plenty gunning for his spot. Specter likely cut a deal to ensure he'd have the backing and the funding of the national Democratic Party. But Pennsylvania is still somewhat of a purple place. Much to Obama's dismay, many Pennsylvanians cling to our guns and our religion, unlike Specter who clings to power. Candidates like Senator Bob Casey, a socially conservative, left leaning politician has an easier shot than a turncoat, two decade Republican turned Democrat. Specter might be able to beat Toomey in a general election, but the he'll have to face the fight of his life to get there.
Nobody wants to hear of people losing their jobs in these trying times. But when it comes to Arlen Specter, his political unemployment might just be the greatest boost Pennsylvania has seen in decades -- no matter what the party.
Andrea Tantaros currently serves as co-host of Fox News Channel's The Five (weekdays 5-6 PM/ET). She joined the network as a contributor in 2010. Follow her on Twitter @andreatantaros or on Facebook.com/andreatantaros. Click here for more information on Andrea Tantaros.