I cannot tell you how unsurprised I am that Arlen Specter will likely attempt to ride both strong horses in PA GOP presidential politics for as long as he can. Arlen was seen at a Giuliani fundraiser in DC some weeks ago. Josh at The Morning Call recently noticed him blowing some kisses in McCain’s direction.
I can assure you Specter will eventually endorse whichever candidate can do the most for Specter, or whatever candidate becomes the prohibitive favorite in the Commonwealth, whichever he can determine first. If it were up to the voters, Giuliani would likely become that prohibitive favorite. As of right now, though, the voters have nothing to do with it, and McCain is a fellow senator. So Specter will need to be coy for a bit.
Remember, Arlen is already running for reelection in 2010 when he’ll be approaching both the institutional persistence and plummeting relevancy of Strom Thurmond in his later days. So any endorsement from him will be entirely determined by the effects that endorsement will have on the propagation of Arlen, Inc.
Of course, in the US Senate mental acumen, loyalty, and competence pale in comparison to seniority when it comes to acquiring influence and power. While I’m not so sure we voters are on the right end of this Faustian bargain with Specter– just ask the former employees of the Willow Grove Naval Air Station– Arlen is a heavy, heavy hitter with insiders. An endorsement from him would carry a great deal of water for the Giuliani campaign, so I hope they can woo him.