October 16, 2012 |
When I heard on Sunday that Arlen Specter had died, I sought solace in rummaging through personal remnants of our 30-year friendship. My memories span campaigns, Senate hearings, radio broadcasts, martinis, dinners, birthdays, and bat mitzvahs. They include a night in Havana when I watched him debate Fidel Castro at the dinner table, a donnybrook I dubbed "the D.A. vs. the Dictator. " And our time together is evidenced in campaign buttons, ticket stubs to Supreme Court confirmation hearings, tapes of radio broadcasts, manuscripts he wrote, and countless photographs.
October 28, 1986 |
He's here, he's there, he's everywhere. Since his election to the Senate in 1980, Pennsylvania's junior senator, Arlen Specter, a former district attorney of Philadelphia and failed mayoral and gubernatorial candidate, has alternately amazed and annoyed his Washington colleagues, onlookers and staff members with his ability to speed from one topic or activity to another. In the course of a week, Specter can be standing on a ship being refitted in the Port of Philadelphia, sweeping through the state's rural counties seeking votes or raising campaign dollars, playing squash and sitting in the Senate sauna with other lawmakers or conducting a hearing under the glare of television lights on Capitol Hill on any number of topics.
October 18, 2012 |
With a mere three weeks before the election, Joe Biden gave up campaigning in the battlegrounds of Colorado and Nevada Tuesday to remember his Senate Judiciary Committee and Amtrak pal, Arlen Specter. "I thought, 'What would Arlen do?' Arlen wouldn't have even thought about it. Arlen would have been there for me," the vice president told almost 1,500 mourners at Penn Valley's Har Zion Temple. Biden recalled how Specter continually pushed him. "I don't know why I did so much for Philadelphia.
May 18, 2010
The worst thing his opponent in the Democratic primary has been able to say about Sen. Arlen Specter is that he will do whatever it takes to be reelected and continue serving the people of Pennsylvania. Twist that ambition any way you want in slick TV commercials, and it still sounds like a desirable attribute. Specter doesn't want to stop working for Pennsylvanians, and the vigor he has brought to this campaign shows he's more than ready for another term. But getting there won't be easy.
November 1, 1998 |
A tall, dark-haired man in a brown leather bomber jacket bounded up the porch stairs of a split-level house in an Erie suburb yesterday morning and knocked on the door. "Gov. Ridge, good morning!" exclaimed a surprised Mary Lee Boyer. "Hiyadoin," Ridge said. "I'm just applying for my job for four more years. " Ridge had nothing to worry about. He could count on Boyer's vote and those of her Democrat husband and just about everyone else he greeted yesterday in this far northwestern Pennsylvania city he once represented as a congressman.
October 16, 2012 |
AMONG THOSE who will miss Arlen Specter are his comedy buddies. The former longtime U.S. senator, who died of cancer Sunday at 82, released a statement while hospitalized recently that he looked forward to getting back on the stand-up comedy stage. He was booked to perform Nov. 16 at the Media Theatre with 94 WIP's Big Daddy Graham and Joe Conklin . Graham recalls the first time he worked with Specter at the Phoenixville Theater a couple of years back. "I had never met him, but had interviewed him a lot on the air. I was sitting in the green room waiting to go on," Graham said.
May 10, 2010 |
Last week, Sen. Arlen Specter's campaign bought thousands of ad minutes on Philadelphia black-oriented radio stations to air a clip of President Obama's praising him. And Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins made robo-calls to city Democratic voters saying that Specter has "proven he's on our team" by supporting the economic-stimulus and health-care overhaul. For Specter, surviving the Democratic Senate primary against Rep. Joe Sestak may well come down to his hometown, the city that launched his long political career in 1965, when he was elected district attorney - as a Republican.
January 10, 2010 |
All Sen. Arlen Specter wants as he sits down at the Vietnam Georgetown Restaurant after a bruising day of fighting for survival is a gin martini, with olives. How hard is that? "Bartender is not here tonight. No mixed drinks - beer, wine only," the young waiter says, tapping a pencil on his order pad. "No bartender?" Specter says. "How about a manager?" The kid shakes his head. "Well, how about straight gin on ice? Can you do that?" Specter asks, sighing. The waiter is puzzled.
October 18, 2000 |
Whenever someone makes a movie about Washington politics the question is always whether the characters are stand-ins for real Democrats and Republicans. In the case of at least one character in The Contender, the new thriller starring Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges and Gary Oldman, the answer is yes. Before the film opened to mixed reviews and middling box office last weekend, screenwriter-director Rod Lurie told Roger Ebert and other film critics that he wrote Oldman's character with Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.)