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Specter Makes Headway in Bid for Chair -Aides
Reuters ^ | 11/16/04 | Thomas Ferraro

Posted on 11/16/2004 12:33:57 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection

Sen. Arlen Specter, a Republican defender of abortion rights, made progress on Tuesday in his embattled bid to head the committee that reviews judicial nominations, party aides said.

Specter emerged from a closed-door meeting with Senate Republican leaders with a smile but no prediction on whether he will become Judiciary Committee chairman -- though a handful of Republican lawmakers have publicly voiced support in recent days and have said they expect him to get it.

"I never count any chickens before they hatch," Specter, 74, of Pennsylvania, said after the meeting in the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican.

Frist, who earlier this week said Specter needed to make a persuasive case that he deserved the post, shook Specter's hand but declined comment to reporters.

While anti-abortion groups have long had concerns about Specter, they increased after the Nov. 2 elections when he gave what was interpreted as a warning to President Bush against offering to the Senate for confirmation U.S. Supreme Court nominees who oppose abortion.

After a crush of criticism, Specter said he was merely pointing out that nominees would need bipartisan support to clear Democratic procedural hurdles.

The Judiciary Committee screens White House nominations to the federal bench, including the Supreme Court, which helps shape social policy on matters from gays rights to abortion.

Specter, the committee's only pro-choice Republican, is in line because of seniority to chair the panel when the new 109th Congress convenes in January.

Top aides said Specter has appeared to make headway, but that all Senate Republicans must get a chance to talk with him before any decision is made.

Specter was to meet later on Tuesday with fellow Republicans on the Judiciary Committee and on Wednesday with all Senate Republicans, who will ultimately decide his fate.

Specter, who won a fifth Senate term this month with White House support, has noted that he backed all of Bush's judicial nominees so far and never had a "litmus test" for them.

While no Republican senator has publicly opposed Specter, a number of them have voiced concerns. "I wish to be assured that he will support the president's nominees," Sen. George Allen, a Virginia Republican, said shortly before Tuesday's meetings.

Sen. Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, said Specter should be given the chairmanship.

"I think he has earned it," Lott said. "I'm a pretty conservative guy. But I'm also a pragmatist and I think it would be a mistake for him not to be chairman."

"I think he'd be an asset. When he comes to the floor to speak on behalf of a Bush nominee -- maybe a conservative, maybe a pro-lifer -- it will carry real weight," Lott said.

Across the street from the Capitol, however, anti-abortion demonstrators kept up their campaign against Specter.

"We will not go silently into the night," said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition. "We are here and we are making our voices heard loudly and clearly."


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: specter; sphincter

1 posted on 11/16/2004 12:33:58 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
It's all about Specter, to Specter. Just go already.
2 posted on 11/16/2004 12:35:53 PM PST by Fatalis
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"I never count any chickens before they hatch," Specter, 74, of Pennsylvania, said

Sounds like code for "I'm pro-abortion".

(Just kidding)

3 posted on 11/16/2004 12:36:07 PM PST by NittanyLion
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To: Askel5

Pod People.......


4 posted on 11/16/2004 12:36:47 PM PST by Siobhan (Where is there justice in the gate...)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Specter is the litmus paper of the GOP credibility.

He MUST go.

5 posted on 11/16/2004 12:37:32 PM PST by Diogenesis ("Then I say unto you, send men to summon ... worms. And let us go to Fallujah to collect heads.")
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"I never count any chickens before they hatch . . . "

Of course not. Nor do you count children before they are born.

6 posted on 11/16/2004 12:37:54 PM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

God help any congresscritter who puts Specter in the judiciary committee. Their seats will be forfeit in 2006 and 2008.


7 posted on 11/16/2004 12:39:08 PM PST by Prime Choice (STFU ACLU.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"I think he has earned it," Lott said. "I'm a pretty conservative guy. But I'm also a pragmatist and I think it would be a mistake for him not to be chairman."

Is that the smell of greased palms and scratched backs wafting out of that room?

8 posted on 11/16/2004 12:40:48 PM PST by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
hmmmm... trent lott thinks specter should get the chairmanship -- sounds like a no brainer to me. thumbs down.
9 posted on 11/16/2004 12:41:09 PM PST by chilepepper (The map is not the territory -- Alfred Korzybski)
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To: Prime Choice

I hope you are right. I think the senate "traditions" will prevail and Specter will be confirmed.


10 posted on 11/16/2004 12:42:04 PM PST by bigfootbob
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To: newgeezer

Ahhh that Trent Lott spine we all know and love.


11 posted on 11/16/2004 12:42:27 PM PST by byteback
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

As at the Alamo, the line has been drawn in the sand......and Sphincter.....always the coward....will grovel....and spin...and be Sphincter... Don't be fooled again.


12 posted on 11/16/2004 12:44:29 PM PST by cbkaty
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To: bigfootbob

I think it will be Specter as chair and that he will do a surprisingly good job. He also provides a very useful foil with the media -- if Specter supports the President's nominees, they cannot be that conservative.

We will also need Specter and the moderates on tort reform, social security privatization, and much more.


13 posted on 11/16/2004 12:48:08 PM PST by mwl1
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

Where's that list of phone numbers again? We need to reinforce the message to these hard-headed senators. I want Lott's number!

Lott resigned for the good of the party over some innocuous remark. Spector obviously doesn't care about anyone else. Why can't Spector resigned the chairmanship for the good of the party.


14 posted on 11/16/2004 12:48:17 PM PST by FR_addict
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

This may be nothing more than putting on a good face. Let's hope so!


15 posted on 11/16/2004 12:50:47 PM PST by conservativecorner
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

I will guarantee the Pubbies, if they put this guy in as chair, they will come to regret it.


16 posted on 11/16/2004 12:53:17 PM PST by mewzilla
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To: Fatalis

Like the house of Lords, the Senate is a cozy club very protective of its members perquisites. Gives the Republic a bad name.


17 posted on 11/16/2004 12:57:04 PM PST by kimoajax
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To: mewzilla

can he be voted off later if he acts up?


18 posted on 11/16/2004 12:58:29 PM PST by oceanview
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To: newgeezer
Is that the smell of greased palms and scratched backs wafting out of that room?

Exerpt from Schippers' Sellout:

Finally Senator Lott and Republican Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania entered and sat at the head of a big rectangular table. Lott leaned back in his chair with a power lean that said, "I'm in charge." I'll never forget the very first words out of his mouth: "Henry, you're not going to dump this garbage on us."

Some things never change.

19 posted on 11/16/2004 1:04:06 PM PST by smokeyb
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To: Prime Choice

"God help any congresscritter who puts Specter in the judiciary committee. Their seats will be forfeit in 2006 and 2008."

Worth repeating.


20 posted on 11/16/2004 1:05:48 PM PST by Bikers4Bush (Flood waters rising, heading for more conservative ground. Vote for true conservatives!)
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To: oceanview
can he be voted off later if he acts up?

By then it will be too late. It's easier to remove a tick before it sinks its jaws into you.

21 posted on 11/16/2004 1:09:12 PM PST by Prime Choice (STFU ACLU.)
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To: bigfootbob

I presume so, but I think the behind the scenes discussion includes some requirements for supporting Specter.


22 posted on 11/16/2004 1:12:23 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("War is an ugly thing, but...the...feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." --J.S. Mill)
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To: bigfootbob

I presume so, but I think the behind the scenes discussion includes some requirements for supporting Specter.


23 posted on 11/16/2004 1:12:24 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("War is an ugly thing, but...the...feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." --J.S. Mill)
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To: mewzilla
I will guarantee the Pubbies, if they put this guy in as chair, they will come to regret it.

OK, one senator's ego NOW, vs. the house, the senate and the presidency over the next four years ... which weighs the most? (Of course, to support abortion is the ultimate indicator of disregard for the future ...)

24 posted on 11/16/2004 1:20:58 PM PST by TomSmedley (Technical writer)
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To: rwfromkansas

Rueters. *Retch*


25 posted on 11/16/2004 1:25:49 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: TomSmedley

Ahem. We'll be taking names and we damn well won't forget.


26 posted on 11/16/2004 1:38:56 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

Trent lott should sit down and shut up. Lott was a weakling who correct was fired from the majority position.

Lott is operating as a minority party leader. This is not the old country club senate, this is a 9/11 senate vs the remaining fools with a 9/10 menality.

Specter is the wrong senator, for the wrong job, at the wrong time.


27 posted on 11/16/2004 1:51:18 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: EternalVigilance

I want to know just what "aides" they were talking to anyway.


28 posted on 11/16/2004 2:09:00 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("War is an ugly thing, but...the...feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." --J.S. Mill)
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To: longtermmemmory

Yep. Looks like Senator Lott is in relapse.


29 posted on 11/16/2004 2:10:51 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: rwfromkansas

Well, this is Reuters. Nothing they say can be trusted.


30 posted on 11/16/2004 2:11:34 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
What all of you need to do is contact your senators and ask them to change the senate rules so that the democrats cannot filibuster judicial nominees. I contacted my two senators and Frist. If Spector is head of the committee, that would be bad, but I think the democrats main weapon is the filibusters. They intend to use that weapon every chance they get. If the rules are changed and Spector blocks any nominee, that would take a lot of nerve on his part and make a lot of Republicans who supported him look very bad.
31 posted on 11/16/2004 2:25:51 PM PST by Hendrix
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To: mwl1
I think it will be Specter as chair and that he will do a surprisingly good job.

NUTS!

32 posted on 11/16/2004 2:47:49 PM PST by Itzlzha (The avalanche has already started...it is too late for the pebbles to vote!)
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To: FR_addict
Where's that list of phone numbers again? We need to reinforce the message to these hard-headed senators. I want Lott's number!

GOOD call hope someone posts them. I want to give Lott a ear full, wish they would answer there own phones so they could "get a feel" of the outrage that is out here on this matter.

33 posted on 11/16/2004 2:51:15 PM PST by Phyto Chems (Convert or DIE is there call --- but I will remember Nick Berg & now Paul Johnson and .....)
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To: EternalVigilance
I am very furious right now.

I just called Larry Craigs D.C office and told him that he had better stand against Specter.

I told the girl that I had heard that Hatch said he would get the chairmanship.

She said,(in somewhat of a rude manner) "For your information Carl Rove is supporting Specter too.

I told her that I knew thousands of Idahoans who would be extremely furious over this.

Call Larry Craig at 202-224-2752
34 posted on 11/16/2004 3:45:03 PM PST by Delphinium
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To: Delphinium

It's a righteous anger.

Keep channeling it at those who need to hear the outrage...


35 posted on 11/16/2004 3:53:21 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: FR_addict

"Lott resigned for the good of the party over some innocuous remark. Spector obviously doesn't care about anyone else. Why can't Spector resigned the chairmanship for the good of the party."

So true.



36 posted on 11/16/2004 3:58:39 PM PST by Cedar
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To: EternalVigilance
I am using it.

Last week one of the D.C staffers told the calls, and letters were 100 to one against Specter.

I personally know several high ups in the Idaho GOP who have contacted him about standing against Specter.

For him to take the side of Specter over the Idahoans who elect him is infuriating.
37 posted on 11/16/2004 4:03:45 PM PST by Delphinium
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To: Delphinium

You can tell her that Carl Rove casts only one vote on election day.

But the millions of pro-lifers cast millions of votes.

No Senate or House seat is secure any longer. There are millions of eyes watching now.


38 posted on 11/16/2004 4:13:44 PM PST by Cedar
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