SPECTER’S DELICATE SENSIBILITIES…. Sen. Arlen Specter’s (R-Pa.) angry crusade against Eric Holder’s A.G. nomination seems petty, pointless, and counter-productive. Facing a difficult re-election campaign next year in a “blue” state Obama won by double digits, Specter may even be undermining his career with his odd tactics.
So, why is he bothering? Apparently, because the president-elect hurt his feelings by not calling him first.
Key members of the Senate Intelligence Committee complained this week that they had no advance notice of President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. Sen. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says Obama was equally tight-lipped with him about nominees for the Department of Justice.
Specter said in prepared remarks Tuesday that Obama did not consult with him before choosing Eric Holder Jr. to be attorney general, and he tells Legal Times that Obama also did not consult with him or notify him before announcing four other Justice Department nominees Monday.
“History demonstrates that presidents who seek the advice of members of the Senate prior to submitting a nomination frequently see their nominees confirmed more quickly and with less controversy than those who do not,” Specter (R-Pa.) said…. “In contrast, on the nomination of Mr. Holder, President-elect Obama chose not to seek my advice or even to give me advance notice in my capacity as Ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, which is his prerogative.”
Specter added yesterday, “You ought to seek the ranking member’s advice.”
It’s hard to imagine a long-time senator like Specter being so small, but it’s equally hard to understand why he’d admit it. All of this starts to sound a bit like Newt Gingrich telling reporters he shut down the government because Bill Clinton made him use the back exit on Air Force One.
Specter wants to punish Holder because Obama didn’t seek his “advice”? Please.