The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, June 19, 2003  

Sen. Specter and Rep. Hoeffel: In Harrisburg on the Very Same Day

I’m not saying I’m spilling any beans here, but this afternoon, while catching up on a stack of newspapers, I read a noteworthy column in Tuesday’s Philadelphia Daily News by John M. Baer (“Cheney Comes to Praise Arlen,” June 17).

Baer’s main topic was the goings-on at a fundraiser held Monday in Harrisburg, Pa., for Sen. Arlen Specter (R-D.C.Pa.). Among those attending the luncheon, which raised at least $200,000 for “moderate Republican” Specter’s reelection campaign, was prominent right-winger Vice President Richard L. Cheney, who emerged from seclusion to offer children everywhere a hint to the enduring question, “Where’s Dick?”

Near the end of his column Baer noted that U.S. Rep. Joseph Hoeffel (D-Pa.) also was in Harrisburg on Monday, meeting in a closed session with the state’s House Democratic Caucus.

Baer wrote:

Hoeffel tells me one of the topics (I assume THE topic) is a “potential Senate race I’m thinking about.”

I ask if, ideologically, he and Specter aren’t mostly the same.

“Yeah, when he’s got his moderate hat on, but that’s been slipping off lately,” says Joe.

He points to Arlen’s “wrong way” support of Bush’s tax cuts, says the ‘04 race will be about the economy[,] and he’s “trying to assess” whether he can raise the money for a credible challenge.

Hmm…A general-election challenge from an established Democrat to the supposedly invulnerable Sen. Specter. Could it be? Could we, as a state and a nation, be that lucky?

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