In York County, Sen. Arlen Specter, now a Democrat, quoted Dem statesman from past

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U.S. Senator Arlen Specter was a regular visit to York County. Here, Joe Paterno and President George H.W. Bush stumped at a Northern York County fundraiser for Specter in June 1992. Specter also visited the York Daily Record/Sunday News office in 2009 – perhaps his last visit to the YDR – and gave an indication that he needs to bone up on the statesmen in his new party. Background posts: How well do you know our U.S. presidents? and Washington Township, Jefferson Borough, Madison Avenue. How about an Obama Street in York County? and This working list details presidential visits to York and Adams counties

Arlen Specter has visited the newspaper office many times over the years, boasting Republican positions.
But this time he came as a Democrat, quoting Democrats.
At one point, he asked journalists assembled if they knew how Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson defined a statesman.
When no immediate answer came, he answered his own question: “A dead politician.”
Well, Stevenson might have adopted that line, but a decade before Stevenson was on the national presidential campaign scene, Harry S. Truman was using it.
And at least one time, he gave it in York… .


With a little twist.
Then-U.S. Senator Harry S. Truman came here in 1944 to speak at a Dem dinner and was asked if he would vie for vice-president in that year’s presidential election.
“A statesman is only a dead politician,” he replied, “and I want to live a long time yet.”
Truman did become vice-president and then president.
He lost support within his party and across the nation because of the Korean War and other policies. So, he did not run for another presidential term in 1952.
The new presidential candidate for the Dems?
Adlai Stevenson.
Also of interest:
For numerous York Town Square posts about presidential visits to York County, click Presidential Stops category.

*Edited, 10/14/12

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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One Response to In York County, Sen. Arlen Specter, now a Democrat, quoted Dem statesman from past

  1. JT says:

    At the death of Abraham Lincoln Edwin Stanton stated “now he belongs to the ages”.

    We’ll let future ages be the judge of whether Arlen Specter was truly a statesman.

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