The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

If Specter Loses, Where Does He Go From Here?


A reader wonders how Specter would react to a primary defeat:

If Snarlin’ Arlen loses his primary to Sestak, can’t we anticipate the following:  

1. He will almost certainly conclude that his loss is not his fault in any way.

2. He can’t really punish the voters for dumping him.

3. He can, however, point to the lack of support from the administration in the waning days of the campaign.

4.  Since Specter is the vengeful type, might that mean that we see a more “independent” Specter in the last days of his Senate career, during which he takes some high profile stands against the administration and his leadership in retaliation for their lack of support?

I would note, however, that a man like Specter runs for a sixth term at age 80 after surviving multiple bouts with cancer because he wants to be active, important, and powerful. The traditional retired politician activities – teaching, lobbying, heading up think tanks, writing books, doing television appearances – hold no interest for him. I think Specter hasn’t put much thought into what he did if his Senate career ended, but I suspect he would prefer an appointed position in the executive branch – an ambassadorship, perhaps – to almost any private sector option.

Tags: Arlen Specter


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