Former Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) writes in a new book that President Obama ditched him in the 2010 election after he helped Obama win the biggest legislative victory of his term by passing healthcare reform.
Specter also claims that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not uphold his promise to grant him seniority accrued over 28 years of service in the Senate as a Republican.
Well, once they had your vote, Arlen, you were just another backbencher. The article we quote is from The Hill and it is comedy gold. You should read the whole thing, but here are the two key things. First, here's what Specter got for switching parties:
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.”
What fun would that have been? Meanwhile, there's this jaw-dropping assertion concerning conversations Specter claims to have had with Bob Dole:
Dole, who served as Senate Republican leader from 1985 to 1996, was initially angry with Specter but then told him he made the right decision.Sure he would have, Arlen.
Specter recounted a long conversation at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center 18 months after the switch.
“Dole told me I had done the right thing, that I had done a terrific job as a senator, been involved in a lot of projects, been very active, and hadn’t gotten credit for a lot of the stuff I had done,” he wrote.
“I said, ‘Bob, I think that it’s very meaningful when you say that I did the right thing, in the party change.’
“He said, ‘Well,’ and then paused and thought for a few seconds. Then he said, ‘I probably would have done the same thing.’ ”