Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge is seriously considering a run for the Senate for the GOP nomination against Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), according to Roll Call:
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge is considering running for the Republican Senate nomination in his home state, according to a senior Republican aide with knowledge of the situation.
National and Keystone State Republicans have been publicly and privately urging Ridge to consider a Senate bid since Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) announced earlier this week that he was switching parties and would run for re-election as a Democrat in 2010.
Specter said he switched parties because he could not win a primary against conservative former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who is popular with the party’s base but whom many national Republicans believe cannot win the general election — especially against a 29-year incumbent who is viewed favorably and gets high marks from Democrats. Ridge’s moderate politics and national profile would make him a more viable candidate in the general election.
A former six-term House Member, Ridge is still popular in Pennsylvania, where he served as governor from 1995 to 2001. He left office to be President George W. Bush’s first secretary of Homeland Security but retired from the Cabinet in 2005 and joined the private sector.
President Bill Clinton frowns as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, addresses supporters at the National Building Museum in Washington Saturday, June 7, 2008, as she suspends her campaign for president. (AP Image)
Mrs. Clinton, speaking here to an audience of advisers and supporters who had been invited to attend from across the country, used the final rally of her presidential campaign to end her barrier-breaking bid for the presidency and endorse Mr. Obama. She pledged that she would do what it takes to help Mr. Obama win the White House.
In her last rally as a presidential candidate, Mrs. Clinton expressed deep gratitude to the voters. who had cast ballots for her. She suspended her campaign, rather than officially ending it. That’s a technicality that will allow her to raise money to retire her debt and to control the delegates she won. It is not an indication that she has any intention of resuming it.
Mr. Obama stayed away because he understood this was her moment.
Mrs. Clinton offered nothing less than a full-throated endorsement for and embrace of Mr. Obama and his candidacy. She has said many times that she would work her heart out for the nominee, and aides said she knew that now was the time to begin to show it. (MORE)
Clinton’s decision came as some of her most prominent supporters — including former Vice President Walter Mondale — announced they were now backing Obama.
“I was for Hillary — I wasn’t against Obama, who I think is very talented,” Mondale said. “I’m glad we made a decision, and I hope we can unite our party and move forward.”
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to end her historic bid to become the first female president while leaving her options open to retain her delegates and promote her issues, including a signature call for universal health care.
Hours after Sen. Barack Obama sealed the nomination, Democrats coalesced around his candidacy, sending a strong signal to Clinton that it was time to bow out.
The former first lady told House Democrats during a private conference call Wednesday that she will express support for Obama’s candidacy and congratulate him for gathering the necessary delegates to be the party’s nominee.
“Senator Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington, D.C., to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity. This event will be held on Saturday to accommodate more of Senator Clinton’s supporters who want to attend,” her communications director Howard Wolfson said.
Also in the speech, Clinton will urge once-warring Democrats to focus on the general election and defeating Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain.
The announcement brought to a close an epic five-month nominating battle pitting the first serious female candidate against the most viable black contender ever.
On Tuesday night, Obama secured the 2,118 delegates needed to claim the Democratic nomination, but Clinton stopped short of acknowledging that milestone.
An adviser said Clinton and her lieutenants had discussed various ways a presidential candidacy can end, including suspending the campaign to retain control of her convention delegates and sustain her visibility in an effort to promote her key issue of health care.
“That is not at all what Senator Clinton will talk about tonight. She will talk about the 18 million votes she received and all the issues that matter to her. I have spoken to Senator Clinton today. No, no one has the number to be the nominee democratic party now.”