Opinion: Michele Bachmann’s blabbing drives Arlen Specter to patronize


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Onetime Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, whose jump over to the Democratic Party last year turned his name into a political verb for switching sides whenever it’s convenient, may have stepped in something messy this week, as first reported by Daniel Malloy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The 80-year-old new Democrat, who’s seeking a sixth term but facing a defiant primary challenge from combative Rep. Joe Sestak, was on a Philadelphia radio station debating Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Normally the, uh, outspoken Bachmann, a Tea Party fave, would be a perfect foil for a Democrat like Specter.


Bachmann was, as is the style of most House members when they secure rare media attention, going on and on about killing ObamaCare and cutting taxes and common-sense conservatism. Hey, you talk ‘til the ref blows the whistle.

And WPHT’s Dom Giordana was enjoying the flap, as radio hosts are wont to do.

Until Specter uttered those paralyzingly poisonous patronizing words in modern politics: ‘I’m going to treat you like a lady. Now act like one!’

You can hear the entire exchange over here at the real essential RealClearPolitics site.

(UPDATE: Specter has since phoned Bachmann and apologized and she accepted.)

As part of Specter’s spectering, Democrat President Obama promised to campaign for him no matter what this fall, a promise proving of dubious worth if past performances are accurate indicators.

As The Ticket noted this morning, Obama is 0-7 in campaign rallies for Democratic candidates, including most recently Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts loser to upset Republican Sen.-elect Scott Brown.

Obama’s campaigning presumes that Specter, the onetime 60th Democratic Senate vote, survives the state primary. A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows Specter increasing his double-digit lead over Sestak.


Unfortunately for Specter, an even newer Rasmussen Reports poll shows him trailing conservative Republican Pat Toomey in a general election match-up by 9 points, twice the lead Toomey had a month ago. Toomey’s emerging GOP strength in the Keystone State was a major reason for Specter’s specter last April.

Do you think Toomey will invite Bachmann to campaign for him come fall? She seems quite effective getting Specter off his game.

(UPDATE Friday: Jan Larimer, co-chair of the Republican National Committee, issued this statement: ‘Sen. Specter’s rude and arrogant comments yesterday were not only disrespectful to Congresswoman Bachmann, but demeaning to all women. Sen. Specter should immediately apologize to the Congresswoman and to all of his constituents for such disgraceful behavior.

(‘Women should never be treated as second-class citizens. It’s clear Sen. Specter has spent too much time in Washington, and this November I am confident Pennsylvanians will choose a new direction.”)

-- Andrew Malcolm

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