I certainly had my differences with him, but I also respected his hard work and dedication to the State. Even beyond that he was clearly a decent and honorable person who devoted himself to serving and helping others going back over half a century or so.
I must say the comments by some in this thread are both disgusting and reprehensive.
America missed out on a great man by never electing him president. Pat Toomey, Joe Sestak, and the state of Pennsylvania should feel extra sad today for the knives they jammed in to his back.
That may be so about the Presidency, but as the point about the Senate seat is just ridiculous. He won against Toomey in 2004, narrowly, but he still won. By 2010 though the state had moved on in both parties and he couldn't win either primary. This notion that incumbent politicians are owed the support and obedience of their consituents is simply ridiculous. It has to be earned and Specter did earn it in for five terms. I would think after that much time especialy, they shouldn't feel any obligation to refrain from changing hands if they feel a new time with new issues, requires a different voice.
By that same understanding, Mark Begich would had to have gone all emo in the aftermath of Ted Steven's passing. It doesn't work like that and as far as I can tell the campaigns that Toomey and Sestak ran were hardly bitterly personal or anything of that nature.