Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A maverick once more

Bloomberg News:
May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Arlen Specter was undaunted when a fellow U.S. senator accidentally struck him in the face with a squash racket, drawing blood and requiring stitches to close the gash. He demanded a rematch and showed up for it wearing a hockey helmet, ready to do battle.

The Pennsylvania Republican, who has survived a brain tumor, heart surgery and lymphatic cancer, is showing political resilience as well.

Faced with a revolt by more conservative fellow Republicans that almost denied him the Senate Judiciary Committee chairmanship last year, he pledged to fight for President George W. Bush's judicial nominees. Today, at age 76, Specter has emerged as a leading critic of the administration's anti- terrorist domestic eavesdropping program. He is again demonstrating the maverick qualities that have won him five terms in Congress and occasionally enraged other Republicans, and some Democrats, too.

``He is a tough old bird,'' said Virginia Republican Senator John Warner. ``He is kind of like Churchill: `Never, never give in.'''


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