Arlen Specter, the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania who switched parties at the end of his career, drew tributes from Democrats and Republicans alike.
Here’s some of what the National Jewish Democratic Council’s chair, Marc Stanley, and president, David Harris, had to say:
Senator Specter sat in the Republican Party for most of his career, and he was a consummate public servant whom we respected greatly as he advocated for Pennsylvanians —and a crucial voice of moderation. When he joined the Democratic Party later in his career, we were proud to welcome him as a Jewish Democrat—and his votes were crucial to helping President Obama during the first year of his presidency. Senator Specter has left behind a proud legacy of public service that will hopefully guide future generations of public servants, Jewish and non-Jewish alike.
And this is from the (somewhat more brief) statement of the Republican Jewish Coalition’s national chairman, David Flaum:
Arlen Specter was a devoted public servant with a great passion for justice. He was a staunch supporter of Israel in the U.S. Senate and during his tenure led efforts to expand and enhance the U.S.-Israel relationship. He was also a leading advocate for freedom for Soviet Jewry.
Politico rounds up the tributes from politicos, including the following high (but not entirely grammatical) praise from Pennsylvania’s Jewish former governor, Democrat Ed Rendell: “Sen. Specter did more for the people of Pennsylvania over his-more-than-30-year career with the possible exception of Benjamin Franklin.”