Tales from the Trail

Specter Loses, “Tea Party” Wins

May 19, 2010

specterIt’s curtains  for Arlen Specter’s career in the  U.S. Senate. The veteran senator from Pennsylvania  went down in defeat on Tuesday, losing to challenger Rep. Joe  Sestak in a tight race for the Democratic Senate nomination.

Specter’s loss makes him the latest incumbent to get the boot from  angry voters unhappy with just about everybody in Washington.

Specter has served in the Senate for 30 years but his political fortune may have been sealed last year when he switched party allegiance from Republican to Democrat.

During the campaign, Specter offered Pennsylvania voters his clout, experience and seniority — but it wasn’t enough to hold off  Sestak, a two-term congressman who waged an aggressive campaign against  Specter.

“It’s been a great privilege to serve the people of Pennsylvania, “  the senator said. His brief concession speech in Philadelphia was interrupted by a man in the audience  who shouted:  “Thank you, Arlen.”

sestak 2Elsewhere in Pennsylvania,  a jubilant Sestak claimed victory.

“This is what Democracy looks like – a win for the people over the establishment, over the status quo, even over Washington, DC, ” Sestak said to cheering supporters.

Shifting immediately into general election mode, Sestak continued the anti-establishment theme, saying he’s running for the Senate because he wants to help bring accountability back to Washington.

It’s a cliffhanger in Arkansas, where another closely-watched Senate primary ended without a clear decision.

Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln is headed for a runoff next month against Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter. Lincoln failed to win 50 percent of the vote in the three-way race primary that was needed to avoid a run-off.

The setback for Lincoln came amid the wave of anti-Washington voter anger that has imperiled incumbents across the country.

randIn Kentucky, it was the Tea Party versus the Republican Party and the upstart political movement won. Tea Party favorite Rand Paul (a doctor and son of  Rep. Ron Paul) handily defeated Trey Grayson, the candidate anointed by Kentucky’s top Republican, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Paul claimed victory and promptly addressed the Washington establishment.

“I have a message from the Tea Party, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: “We’ve come to take our government back,” Paul said in his victory speech in Bowling Green.  Paul declared the Tea Party movement is huge, suggesting that members are a political force to be reckoned with.

“This Tea Party movement is a message to Washington that we’re unhappy and that we want things done differently.”

Now the focus moves to the November midterm elections, where Sestak will face Republican Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Paul will square off against Democrat Jack Conway in Kentucky.

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Photo Credits: REUTERS/Bradley Bower ( Specter and his wife Joan Specter depart his campaign reception following his concession speech in Philadelphia) REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (Sestak with reporters before casting his primary ballot in Gradyville, PA)  REUTERS/STR New (Rand Paul gives his victory speech  in Bowling Green, Kentucky)

Comments
9 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Bye Bye Birdie…and good riddance. As another former democrat who has waken up to what the dems have become I welcome his departure. Take back the party from the far left and radicals like Pelosi and Reed or face even more peril. I plead again, Democrats please take the party back and let the far left start their own progressive/Marxist party.

Arlen.Former repub turned dem turned unemployed. I love it.

Posted by DowntheCenter | Report as abusive
 

No surprise here.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

The shot heard around the world though was the bitter Republican defeat suffered by Tom Burns. I mean the Republican party couldn’t win Murtha’s seat in a pocket of the country that brims with Anti-Obama sentiment. This was the deaht knell for any Republican aspirations about taking back the House this fall. That ould only mean good things for America

Posted by GEORGEWNIXON | Report as abusive
 

@ GEORGEWNIXON, Tom Burns didn’t lose Murtha’s seat…The district is 2 to 1 in favor of Democrats. Murtha’s seat is a Democrat stronghold and Tom Burns was expected to lose.

Posted by scientist11 | Report as abusive
 

“Tea Party wins?” Not really. Fox News had been saying (running free campaign ads) for weeks that Tea Party hero tom Burns would pick up Murtha’s seat as part of the tea-tsunami sweeping the nation. The NRCC even gave $200,000 to Burns’ campaign. Epic fail.

Something else that is being overlooked by the tea party media cheerleaders is that while Rand Paul may have won against the McConnell/Cheney pick Trey Grayson, over in the Democrat primary, Jack Conway won his primary with 22,000 MORE VOTES than Rand Paul got. Paul hasn’t got the Kentucky Senate seat locked up just yet.

Posted by SteveoOOo | Report as abusive
 

Wasn’t Arlen Specter the guy who dreamed up (or at least presented) the ‘magic bullet’ theory to the Warren Commission investigation of the JFK assassination? He’s been in Congress ALL THIS TIME!!!

Posted by CDNrebel | Report as abusive
 

Murtha’s seat. Big deal. 2 to 1 democrat. No big surprise there.

You progressives shouldn’t hold you hopes on that one seat.

The rest of the primary elections bode well for anyone but the democrats.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

If Murtha’s district is 2 to 1 in favor of Democrats, why did John McCain carry the district in the 2008 election? You guys are idiots.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive
 

I for one, did not say “2 to 1 in favor of democrats”. I said, 2 to 1 democrat. I will write it slowly for you. 2 democrats to every 1 republican.

No matter what you want to say, it is no big surprise the democrat won.

You are not capable of discussing the issues, you are just a harasser who is an empty vessel.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive
 

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