Former Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) has found a way to put his Senate experience to good use — as a stand-up comedian.
The 82-year-old has been working the comedy-club circuit ever since he left the Senate.
“I’ve had a lot of training. I was in the Senate 30 years,” Specter said during an interview in his Georgetown apartment.
The Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat cited former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) as one of his comedic inspirations.
He noted the two of them both grew up in Russell, Kan., where “humor is in the air and water.”
Specter was in town to promote his memoir, Life Among the Cannibals, which, at times, is quite amusing.
In the book, Specter recounts a time in the Senate gym in 2008 when Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) joined him in the whirlpool.
“Kennedy was one of the Senate’s giants, in many ways,” Specter writes. “It was as though a gigantic walrus had plunged into the sea, causing the level to swell.”
Besides working on his comedy routine, Specter has been teaching and working on a TV pilot for PBS since he left the Senate in January of 2011.
As for a return to politics, he didn’t rule it out — or, at least, his answer didn’t seem to be a joke.
“Might,” he said. “If I can get permission from home.”
With that he pointed to Joan Specter, his wife of more than 50 years. Joan, sitting nearby, promptly gave a thumbs-down.
But Specter, in true political form, left the door open.
“I believe in never saying never.”