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Senator Arlen Specter appeals to Pennsylvania….with comedy? August 30, 2009

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Senator Arlen Specter faces tough competition in his upcoming quest for reelection, as both Pennsylvania’s Republicans and Democrats have offered strong candidates to try and unseat him. Appealing to Pennsylvania’s voters, Specter has resorted to something rather unconventional – stand-up comedy.  Specter recently participated in Pittsburgh Improv’s benefit for Allegheny county’s Music Festival Fund for children. He was supposedly reusing some of his jokes from a 2007 routine he performed at the “Funniest Celebrity in Washington” contest, and his act reportedly “brought down the house.”

To watch his latest performance yourself, please watch the following videos:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What are the benefits of a high profile political candidate doing a highly covered stand-up routine?

2.  What are the risks that candidates like Specter face in doing a stand-up act?

3.  Was Specter’s act too risky?  If so, what jokes could damage his chances of winning the election?  If not, what jokes could benefit his image?

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