Arlen Specter narrowly missed defeat in his reelection bid for the U.S. Senate after his prosecutorial role in cross examining Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas' Senate hearing. Anita Hill was a law professor who said that the Supreme Court nominee sexually harrassed her while she worked for him. He won the nomination anyway, but Senator Arlen Specter's behavior towards her while questioning Professor Hill made many women angry. It was the way Senator Specter treated everything Anita Hill said with disbelief.
There is no doubt that any man who came forward with allegations, whether of sexual harrassment or not, would have been taken more seriously than Professor Hill was.
The next election, Senator Specter faced a very tough reelection race from a woman but won it despite the anger directed towards him.
So now he is in a tight race again. This time, with a former AIG executive. I really have a hard time thinking that Arlen Specter won't beat someone with that kind of baggage.
Senator Arlen Specter has always been a moderate Republican. I even heard him say once, "Democrats vote for Republicans" by way of explaining why he was an independent thinker and didn't tow the party line all the time.
I interned for Senator Arlen Specter and he is a very bright man, but not so personable to his staff. In fact, someone could work for him for years and the Senator won't even know his name. Odd for a politician. But you are voting for a Senator to fight for you, not Boss of the Year.
Let's hope he doesn't pay the price for his independence.
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