Sen. Specter vows to battle cancer, seek 2010 reelection
U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, 78, managed to crack a few jokes and talk about his faith on Wednesday as he vowed to fight a recurrence of cancer and seek reelection in 2010.
“I consider it another bump in the road,” the Pennsylvania Republican told a Capitol Hill news conference called to discuss a recurrence of Hodgkin’s disease. “I’ve had a lot of bumps, and I’ve got good shock absorbers.”
Specter, who successfully battled the illness in 2005, disclosed this week he had been diagnosed with a recurrence of the cancer. His doctor said he had an “excellent chance of achieving a complete remission.”
Specter told reporters he will begin chemotherapy later this month and is confident he will again be able to keep up with his Senate duties.
Asked what keeps him going, Specter said wryly: “Got a good job, yes, faith, family, questions from the news media.”
Specter said he intends to seek a sixth term in 2010 and expects Democrats to try to make his health and age a factor. Democrats ousted a more conservative Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum, in the 2006 election.
Then Specter resurrected a couple of quips he used on a visit to the popular cable TV program, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
“He (Stewart) asked me how old I was, and I said, ‘I forget.’ And then I said I looked at my birth certificate recently and I decided not to let a little thing like that bother me because it happened so long ago.’”
- Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Specter last September on Capitol Hill)