In his forthcoming memoir, Life Among the Cannibals, former Senator Arlen Specter outlines the betrayal that he experienced at the hands of the Democrats after his party switch. Expecting an effusive welcome, Specter was sorely disappointed that Obama and Biden didn't come through for him in his tight race against Joe Sestak in the 2010 Democratic primary. From The Hill's preview of the book:
Specter writes that Obama turned down a request to campaign with him in the final days of the primary, because the president’s advisers feared he would look weak if he intervened and Specter lost.
“I realized that the president and his advisers were gun-shy about supporting my candidacy after being stung by Obama’s failed rescue attempts for New Jersey governor Jon Corzine and Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley. They were reluctant to become victims of a trifecta,” he writes.
The snub was made all the more painful by Obama flying over Philadelphia en route to New York City a few days before the election and then on primary day jetting over Pittsburgh to visit a factory in Youngstown, Ohio, 22 miles from the Pennsylvania border, to promote the 2009 economic stimulus law. The painful irony for Specter is that his vote for the stimulus legislation, which was instrumental to its passage, hastened his departure from the Republican Party.
Specter was also disappointed that Biden, who was only a few blocks away at Penn University, did not attend a pre-primary day rally at the Phillies’s Citizens Bank Park — a missed opportunity Specter attributes to a failed staff-to-staff request.
And Harry Reid, who had allegedly promised that Specter would be granted seniority as though he were a Democrat elected in 1980, stabbed Specter in the back on his way in the door.
Had Specter been given the seniority he was promised, he would have become chairman of the powerful Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittee and next in line to chair the Judiciary Committee.
Instead, Reid stripped Specter of all his seniority by passing a short resolution by unanimous consent in a nearly-empty chamber, burying him at the bottom of the Democrats’ seniority list.
Ah, but what satisfying schadenfreude.