Exiting Sen. Specter to decry Senate rancor in farewell floor address

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) will take aim at what he sees as an increasingly partisan Senate when he delivers his farewell address on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. 

The Republican-turned-Democrat, who switched parties to avoid a GOP primary but then lost to a Democratic challenger, will say that senators should not campaign against one another, arguing that it hurts lawmakers' ability to work together.

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"Eating or defeating your own is a form of sophisticated cannibalism," the centrist Specter will say, according to prepared remarks obtained by the Philadelphia Inquirer

"Collegiality can obviously not be maintained when negotiating with someone out to defeat you, especially in your own party," Specter will say on the Senate floor at 10:30 a.m. "In some quarters, compromising has become a dirty word ... Politics is no longer the art of the possible when senators are intransigent in their positions."

Though Specter lost his bid for another term, he will also point to the apparent write-in victory of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) against the Tea Party-backed Republican Joe Miller to argue there is still hope for centrist senators to win.

"Her victory proves that America still wants to be and can be governed by the center," Specter will say.

Specter is one of several centrists who ended up being defeated in this year's elections. 

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) aided conservative Tea Party-backed candidates who challenged, and in some cases defeated, establishment primary candidates or incumbents.

Specter thought that by leaving the GOP, he would ensure an easier path to reelection. 

But the Pennsylvania senator's primary defeat at the hands of Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) reflected internal tensions in the Democratic Party that caused problems for several incumbents. 

Sestak painted himself as a true Democrat, as opposed to the party-switching Specter, on the campaign trail, which lifted him in the primary. In the general election, it wasn't enough to defeat former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who unsuccessfully primaried Specter in 2004.