Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Specter Foot-in-Mouth Watch: Anita Hill, Jeff Sessions, Norm Coleman

Would that be a better name for this site? (Kidding.)

But -- sheesh. I'll get to the Coleman thing after 2 things that strike me as even more troubling.

1. This Sunday's New York Times magazine will have a Q-and-A with Specter that includes this:

(Q:) Many women can never forgive you for your aggressive questioning of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Do you regret your behavior?
(Specter:) No. When a serious charge is made like sexual harassment, the subject is entitled to question the accuser and find out the facts, and that’s what I did.

2. Politico reports Specter regrets his 'no' vote that helped keep far-right-winger Jeff Sessions out of a lifetime federal judgeship over questions about Sessions' race relations record:

Following his first lunch meeting with Senate Democrats on Tuesday, Specter told reporters that out of the 10,000 votes he has cast, he can now recall one that he regrets.
“I don’t expect everybody to agree with all my votes, and I don’t agree with all my votes, either, at this point ... and I was asked the other day what vote I regretted, and I couldn’t think of one that I wanted to publicly state, but I’m prepared to do that now in response to your question,” Specter said. “My vote against candidate Sessions for the federal court was a mistake.”

(Comment: As opposed to Senator Specter's 'no' vote on Obama's budget last week after switching parties, or his 'no' vote last week on helping struggling homeowners...)

3. In the same NY Times piece, Specter says Minnesota loser Norm Coleman should be seated in the Senate (or will we be told soon that's a misquote like the "loyal Democrat" bit?):

(Q:) With your departure from the Republican Party, there are no more Jewish Republicans in the Senate. Do you care about that?
(Specter:) I sure do. There’s still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.
(Q:) Which seems about as likely at this point as Jerry Seinfeld’s joining the Senate.
(Specter:) Well, it was about as likely as my becoming a Democrat.

Now earlier in the day, only the first Q and A had gotten out and not the Seinfeld Q and A that follows. So maybe that Coleman thing was a joke. Either way, Senator Specter needs to clear this up ASAP.

When was this interview given? Before he switched or after?

And in either case, will he put out a statement retracting his Coleman and/or Anita Hill comments? Not to mention, what is Pennsylvania's diverse Democratic electorate going to think of the Jeff Sessions and Anita Hill bits?

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