Hillary and Barack Cause Spector Switch

Why did Spector switch parties? I am sitting and observing all of the news networks and I believe they are failing to acknowledge what just transpired as one of the best primary season this country just experienced.

The back and forth struggle between Senators Clinton and Obama for six months brought many many many people into the Democratic Party. Their passion, their skill, their cause, focused everyone's attention to politics and this attention peaked during the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary.

After her much needed win in Texas, Rhode Island, and Ohio, Clinton took her message of the middle class to Pennsylvania. She campaigned hard and met Obama every step of the way when it was time to debate the issues. Candidate preference aside, what exactly did Hillary and Barack do for the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania? See the stats below supplied by the Secretary of States office of Pennsylvania:

1.1 million more registered democrats in 2008 than republicans after the primary fight

475,000 more registered democrats in 2004 than republicans after Kerry secured his nomination

More independents, more of those Reagan Democrats, those moderate Republicans, registered Democratic because of our candidates messages. Now, some of you are going to argue that the state has been trending Democratic since 2000, but what this primary did was allow Pennsylvanians and every American, stand up and not cower when we critized President Bush and his policies. Truthfully, could we have done that 2004? No not really, but the first debate with Kerry started that, but that is another posting.

Anyways, what is even more amazing about these numbers, the new registrants are staying with the Democratic Party up until today! And what has happened?

The tough primary battle royale of our Democratic candidates is still being felt, especially by Arlan Spector.

So when the political analysts give their reasons as to why the Senator switched, here is my reason. The two biggest figures of the Democratic Party changed the polical landscape so much of the Keystone State, its Republican Senator has to adapt.

My predication, Senator Spector won't even make through a primary challenge. There will be a Democratic Senator from Pennsylvania in 2010, and it won't be Spector.

We can thank the glorious primary battle President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.

This is where we are today: Politics can be dividing, but it can be solidifying.

Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Pennsylvania Primary (all tags)




much as i enjoyed clinton's smackdown. why do the GOP need to be constantly reminded of this?  its really quite simple.  the people decided: you're not in charge anymore.

its actually rather astounding the level of partisan foolishness that is posing as politicking that is going on.  quite unflattering really.

by canadian gal 2009-05-06 07:18PM | 0 recs

Little did we know that while we were all screaming and fighting amongst ourselves, we were creating a massive movement OUT of the Repug party and into the DEM party.....how cool is that?

But you know, I felt it when I traveled to PA for Hillary. I met soooooooo many ex-Republicans that were swept up in the wave of Hillary and Obama. Many, many republican women left their party to vote in our primary for Hillary. It was kind of surprising. And with the 2 of them criss-crossing the state constantly - even my right wing republican relatives were caught up in the excitement....I remember an aunt screaming in the phone "Hillary's coming, I have to go see her!!!" and she HATED Hillary (or so I thought)...but they live up in the mountains and never see any action and here was Hillary Clinton coming to THEIR tiny town...

too bad Hillary and Obama couldn't have spent even longer in Texas doing the same thing!!!

by nikkid 2009-05-06 07:21PM | 0 recs
Good analysis.

I haven't seen anyone else write about this yet now that you mention it it's so obvious.

It was the Hillary and Barack show for months.  So many people were on the ground getting new voters registered.  People wanted to be a part of the excitement.

by GFORD 2009-05-06 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary and Barack Cause Spector Switch

Good piece.

Spector is wavering now on labor reform, he knows the facts you point out.

Specter's latest position on EFCA: "I'm opposed to giving up the secret ballot or mandatory arbitration as they are set forth in the bill, but I do believe that labor law reform is past overdue." So, Specter's not going to support the fulibuster then like he said before? Who knows?
[ http://www.politico.com/news/stories/050 9/22158.html ]

by MAL Contends 2009-05-07 03:18AM | 0 recs
I'm a prophet

Last year I was telling all you guys that the contentious 2008 primary was the best thing that had happened to the Democratic party in my lifetime.

While many were complaining about the millions of dollars being spent by the candidates, I was cheering the Travelling Democratic Circus And Rolling Stimulus Package that steamed through practically every mid-sized town in heavily contended states (which was most of them).

Frankly, it was an extra six months of heavy campaigning so that people could get invested in one of two very similar brands of dynamic Democratic politics; by the time McCain became a major player, the Republican brand and policies seemed stale and antiquated in comparison.  Much like McCain himself.

Suffice to say, I'm glad that people are coming around to understanding that all that fighting we did here and elsewhere in the first half of last year was never in vain, whether you were for Hillary or Barack.

by Dracomicron 2009-05-07 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm a prophet

Noted and remembered, and I agree with your assessment then and now but I'm darned if I ever believed it was intended.  Another stunning victory for the law of unintended consequences it seems to me.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-05-07 05:58AM | 0 recs
Well yeah

Of course it wasn't intended; at least not entirely.  Both candidates, however, were intentionally challenging the conventional wisdom forged between 1968 and 1980 that a contentious primary would end in General Election defeat.

by Dracomicron 2009-05-07 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Well yeah

Well, if you say so.  For awhile there it seemed like that 'conventional wisdom' was one of their respective long-term electoral strategies.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-05-07 02:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary and Barack Cause Spector Switch

Well duh. The real election last year was between Barack and Hillary. Period. There were no other options and the american public knew this and acted and voted accordingly.

by JasonMoreland 2009-05-07 05:58AM | 0 recs
Have to disagree

While the primary was certainly great for getting many Dems in PA, the reason Specter switched is that he was going to lose the GOP  primary to that Toomey nut.  He almost lost last time and his vote for the stimulus would have assured a defeat this time.

by JJE 2009-05-07 08:23AM | 0 recs
Er, you're not quite getting it

The reason Specter would lose to Toomey is because 200,000 Republicans changed their party identification to Democrat in order to get involved with the contested Pennsylvania primary.  The only Pennsylvania Republicans left are pretty much the rightwing nutjobs; the moderate Republicans that would allow Specter to win the Republican primary all left.

So yes, Obama and Clinton essentially forced Specter's hand a year ago.

by Dracomicron 2009-05-07 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Er, you're not quite getting it

the reason is that his own party didn't want him to run again, they wanted anyone else. Like Lieberman, I wanted anyone else too.

But the long primary was great for our party and great for Barack.  We got to hear real issues and so when people voted, they were voting knowing where everyone stood.  Hillary was brave in setting out an agenda, and Barack profits from that, cause she took the risk of being specific and kept getting votes.  If there hadn't been a Barack, she likely would have been far more cautious and then we wouldn't have known there was so much support for competence and universal health care. And if there were no Hillary, Barack would have run against McCain as untested, he got a lot of experience running against Hillary.

But the pugs lost Spector fair and square, the party leadership wasn't going to back him, they were going to try to unseat him and of course he had no real choice if he wanted to stay in power. He had to do it sooner rather than later, to make a difference now. But David Brooks helped him switch too, it's not like all pugs are happy about the state of the GOP.  

by anna shane 2009-05-07 11:27AM | 0 recs
Er, yes I am

Those 200,000 people didn't switch because they love Hillary and Barack.  They switched because the GOP is getting lamer.  They were primarily running away from the GOP, not toward two candidates.

by JJE 2009-05-07 12:52PM | 0 recs

Frankly I think that there were probably quite a few reasons for the 200K to switch party ID. Yes, the Republicans were getting lamer, but the Democrats sure did have a compelling and important primary coming up.  It'd be folly to assume there was just one thing.

by Dracomicron 2009-05-08 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary and Barack Cause Spector Switch

Excellent points.  Thanks for sharing.

by Dreorg 2009-05-07 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary and Barack Cause Spector Switch

Its hard to take this seriously I mean can't you all spell his name correctly?

by obama4presidente 2009-05-07 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Snarlin' Arlin Spectre?

If he becomes a good Democrat then I'll try to spell his names right. But for now I'm waiting and watching.

by Woody 2009-05-07 06:41PM | 0 recs


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