Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:39 am
Imagine a lawyer's lawyer, a fighter's fighter and a pol's pol. Now imagine one person as all three. That was Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who died Sunday at age 82.
Over the course of three decades in the U.S. Senate (1981-2011), Specter came to personify the pragmatic, independent operator who sized up the substance and politics of every issue for himself. His vote could be one of the hardest to get, and often the one that made the difference.