Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

US mourns Pennsylvania Senator ‘tenacious’ Arlen Specter

    Arlen Specter, who died of cancer last Sunday aged 82, had been a US Senator for 30 years — the longest serving in Pennsylvania’s history.

    Born in Wichita, Kansas, he moved aged 12 to Russell in the same state, where he claimed theirs was the only Jewish family in town. He was a tenaciously independent character with a healthy dose of self-confidence and wit. He even did some stand-up comedy for charity in his 70s.

    He qualified as a lawyer from Yale in 1956 but was a politician by vocation, winning his first elected position in 1965 and staying in office for most of the next 45 years.

    He arguably reached his professional zenith with a plausible, if unlikely, bid for the presidency in 1996 as a moderate, pro-choice Republican.

    He was famous for his 2009 switch of allegiance from the Republican party to the Democrat caucus. This handed President Obama’s party control of the Senate at a crucial juncture in the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

    Though not particularly observant, he was a proud member of the Jewish community and a strong supporter of Israel. Known as Snarlin’ Arlen, he was a resolute centrist who bemoaned the creeping extremism of US politics.

World

Netanyahu invited to meet Abbas in Paris

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Netanyahu invited to meet Abbas in Paris
World

Will the Austrian election make Norbert Hofer E...

Sonia Zhuravlyova

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Will the Austrian election make Norbert Hofer E...
World

'Neo-Nazi codes' appear in German supermarket a...

Toby Axelrod

Thursday, December 1, 2016

'Neo-Nazi codes' appear in German supermarket a...
World

'Jews should pay for their own security' say Swiss

Daniel Sugarman

Sunday, December 4, 2016

'Jews should pay for their own security' say Swiss
World

Australian abuse report

Henry Benjamin

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Australian abuse report
World

Fire-ravaged Israelis ‘may no longer be married...

Michael Moran

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fire-ravaged Israelis ‘may no longer be married...
World

It's Chanucah Song time!

Michael Moran

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's Chanucah Song time!
World

Trump picks ex-Goldman Sachs banker as Treasury...

JC Reporter

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Trump picks ex-Goldman Sachs banker as Treasury...
World

Theresa May agrees to look into case of British...

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Theresa May agrees to look into case of British...