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Monday, January 24, 2005

Specter of disaster for Santorum

From the American Spectator on the fallout from the hiring by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) of former NAACP general counsel Hannibal G. Williams II Kemerer:

Beyond an expected backlash against Specter, there was growing concern among aides to Sen. Rick Santorum, who chose not to support then-Rep. Pat Toomey, a conservative, pro-life challenger to Specter in the Pennsylvania Senate primary last year. Instead, Santorum backed Specter, campaigning and fundraising for him, and then openly backing him for Judiciary chairman when that position was in doubt. Santorum is preparing for a tough re-election campaign, and was counting on strong support among Catholics in-state for votes and across the country for fundraising. But Santorum's decision to put politics before core beliefs may now backfire.

On Friday Santorum staffers were meeting with allies to discuss how best to deal with what could become a crisis for the conservative junior Senator from Pennsylvania. Compounding Santorum's Specter problem was word that Robert Casey, Jr., a pro-life Democrat and the son of one of Pennsylvania's most popular politicians, was poised to announce his decision to seek the Democratic Senate nomination.

"To say that Santorum's people are upset does not quite portray what is happening up here," says a Senate leadership staffer. "Without Specter's thumbing his nose at conservatives, Santorum could focus on issues and his candidacy. Now he has to worry about fallout from every step Specter takes."

Captain's Quarters has a pice on the difficulties Specter may create for Santorum in 2006. So do PowerPundit and My View.

Always Right is unmoved by Santorum's potential troubles:

"I realize that this is an unpopular view, but I disagree completely. I want to urge conservatives not to contribute to Santorum's campaign. Rick made his bed, and now he needs to lie in it. If he loses the seat, he loses the seat. Santorum is establishing a pattern of selling conservatives out in the interest of his career, specifically when it will benefit the ultra-liberal RINO Arlen Specter."

Santorum's problems aren't likely to go away soon, once conservatives realize how bad Specter's appointment of John Cornyn as Chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship really is.

As Michelle Malkin has asked, "Will any of the conservatives who supported giving the Judiciary Committee chairmanship to Specter now admit to having second thoughts?"



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