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The Tally Ho

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Even more Specter talk

Frist: Specter Must Prove Himself for Post
WASHINGTON - Sen. Arlen Specter must prove to his Republican colleagues that he is the right man to head the Senate Judiciary Committee in the next Congress, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday.

Specter, R-Pa., will make his case to GOP colleagues this week when Congress returns for a postelection session...

...Frist, R-Tenn., said he expected a chairman to understand that he is responsible "to the feelings, the wishes, the beliefs, the values, the procedures that are held by the majority of that committee."

He added that Specter, as chairman, "has a clear obligation ... to take what the president nominates (and) get that nomination through committee."

Frist would not say if he backed Specter for the job.

Specter said he already has spoken to many other senators. "There has been a concern as to whether I would apply a litmus test to Supreme Court nominees, and the record is conclusive that I have never done that. I have voted for pro-life nominees," he told ABC's "This Week."

I have been following this for a few reasons, one of which is the process that Republicans are using. But I actually feel Sen. Specter is being treated unfairly. For Sen. Frist to say that Sen. Specter has to prove himself is laughable. I realize all of this is helping Mr. Frist solidify his likeability and credentials for his 2008 Presidential run with the people that are taking the most credit for pushing Mr. Bush into a second term, but Sen. Specter has been in the Senate for what, 24 years and counting? I think his record speaks for itself. He helped Justice Thomas get on the bench but helped derail the confirmations of Robert Bork and current Senator Jeff Sessions. He has also commented that there are no legal giants currently on the court and like to remedy this. That is what you get. Not to mention that Sen. Frist is only majority leader because Sen. Lott was pushed out from a leadership position and the White House wanted Mr. Frist, who had only been in the Senate for eight years. Supposedly Mr. Frist could never keep up with out going minority leader Tom Daschle on proceedure. So perhaps there is a lot going on other than qualifications and ideology.

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