From Daniel Malloy in Philadelphia
The TV was turned to MSNBC, and it showed a giant check mark next to Joe Sestak's name, with 53 percent of the vote. A Specter supporter approached me, asking if I knew the channel for CNN, as if perhaps a different network would tell a different story. It was not to be, Arlen Specter's political career is over. The former District Attorney asked for a change of venue and a new jury to decide his political fate and the gambit did not pay off.
A few moments after the networks called it for Sestak, Specter strode in to applause and chants of "Arlen, Arlen." He took the stage with wife, Joan, and his son, Shanin, a Philadelphia attorney who has run his campaigns for years. He flashed a bit of that wry, Specter smile as he quipped about all of the media in the Western Hemisphere being in the room. He joked that Joan, a former City Councilwoman, probably would have won. He briefly choked up when thanking everyone.
And then he came down, glad-handed by well-wishers still in a daze, and he headed out the door to the escalator. An entourage of still and video cameras followed him, along with reporters. ABC's Jonathan Karl stood in front of him on the escalator and asked "How do you feel?" Specter turned and faced away.
He gingerly eased himself into a maroon town car with his wife and was driven off into the night. Shanin turned around and shook a supporter's hand, offering a two-word assessment of a remarkable campaign: "Tough year."