Arlen Specter, Dead at 82

Reply Sun 14 Oct, 2012 02:31 pm
Former Senator Arlen Specter has ceased his earthly being.


Longtime GOP Senate moderate Arlen Specter dies
By Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Arlen Specter, a gruff, independent-minded moderate who spent three decades in the U.S. Senate but was spurned by Pennsylvania voters after switching in 2009 from Republican to Democrat, died on Sunday of cancer, his family said. He was 82


Reaction to the death of former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who died Sunday:


"He was a mentor, colleague and a political institution, and on a personal level, he was my first boss. Sen. Specter did more for the people of Pennsylvania over his more than 30 year career with the possible exception of Benjamin Franklin. He was a champion for veterans across our state and beyond, and will be deeply missed." — Gov. Ed Rendell, who served as an assistant prosecutor when Specter was Philadelphia's district attorney.

"Arlen Specter was always a fighter. From his days stamping out corruption as a prosecutor in Philadelphia to his three decades of service in the Senate, Arlen was fiercely independent — never putting party or ideology ahead of the people he was chosen to serve. He brought that same toughness and determination to his personal struggles, using his own story to inspire others." — President Barack Obama.


"He generated a lot of support and a lot of dissent, but he was unafraid to be held accountable. ... At the end of the day, he was one relentless, unapologetic fighter. Republicans and Democrats may not like how he voted, but they certainly had to respect his mindset." — Former Gov. Tom Ridge.


CNN) -- Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, who embodied a dying breed of liberal Republicanism before switching to the Democratic Party at the twilight of his political career, died Sunday after a long battle with cancer, his family announced.
Specter died of complications from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at his home in Philadelphia, his family said. He was 82.
The veteran Pennsylvania politician had overcome numerous serious illnesses over the past two decades, including a brain tumor and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He had been in the public eye since serving as a member of the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Specter was elected to the Senate in 1980 and represented Pennsylvania for 30 years, longer than anyone in the state's history. His politically moderate image fit hand-in-glove with the politically blue Northeast, both its Democratic centrists and its liberal Republicans.
He was also one of America's most prominent Jewish politicians, a rare Republican in a category dominated by Democrats over the decades. And his name is synonymous with Pennsylvania an idiosyncratic state that pushes and pulls between the two parties, and his home, the staunchly Democratic city of Philadelphia.
In 2006, Philadelphia magazine called him "One of the few true wild cards of Washington politics ... reviled by those on both the right and the left."


WASHINGTON — Arlen Specter, the irascible senator from Pennsylvania who was at the center of many of the Senate’s most divisive legal battles — from the Supreme Court nominations of Robert H. Bork and Clarence Thomas to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton — only to lose his seat in 2010 after quitting the Republican Party to become a Democrat, died Sunday morning at his home in Philadelphia. He was 82.

The cause was complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his son Shanin said. Mr. Specter had previously fought Hodgkin’s disease and had survived a brain tumor and heart bypass surgery.

Hard-bitten and tenacious yet ever the centrist, Mr. Specter was a part of American public life for more than four decades. As an ambitious young lawyer for the Warren Commission, he took credit for originating the theory that a single bullet, fired by a lone gunman, struck both President John F. Kennedy and Gov. John B. Connally of Texas nearly simultaneously. Seconds later, Kennedy was struck by a fatal shot to the head from the same gunman, the commission found.

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Reply Sun 14 Oct, 2012 02:32 pm
at least Ronnie Spector is still alive, life is good
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