Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Specter Finally Makes It Official

The AP reports - - -

Veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania abruptly switched parties Tuesday, a move intended to boost his re-election chances that also pushed Democrats within one seat of a 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority.

"I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans," Specter said in a statement posted on a Web site devoted to Pennsylvania politics and confirmed by his office. Several Senate officials said a formal announcement was expected at mid-afternoon.

But even before the event took place, Specter attended a Senate subcommittee hearing on the swine flu outbreak and took a seat on the Democratic side of the dais.

He made no overt mention of his decision, but said, "Sorry I can't stay longer, but this is a complicated day for me."

The entire AP story's here.

Specter's switch comes just a month after he told The Hill:

"I am staying a Republican because I think I have an important role, a more important role, to play there. The United States very desperately needs a two-party system. That's the basis of politics in America. "

So what caused Specter to make the switch?

At least two things:

1) - - - He's afraid he'll lose the battle next year for Pennsylvania's GOP Senate nomination to former Rep. Pat Toomey. Specter trailed Toomey by a wide margin in a recent poll of GOP voters.

2) - - - The Dems have promised Specter plenty of pork as well as a big say in filling federal judgeships and U. S. and asst. U. S. attorney positions.

cks weighs in with a prediction:

he will lose his seat because now the Republicans do not have to endure a bruising primary fight. [Toomey] should have a clear shot for the Republican nod and the voters of the Keystone state will not look kindly on the Specter flip.

One things certain: Specter's flip raises the already high stakes in the Coleman-Franken court battle.


Anonymous said...

The political transvestite has now become the political transsexual.
And he said he was concerned because the GOP had lost its majority status, then he goes and adds his efforts to the Democrat side. Could that brain cancer have done more than we thought??
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

The commentary on Fox has been interesting - Juan Williams is more or less forecasting the death of the GOP. Spector's move is about Spector putting his finger to the wind and coming to the opinion that his chances of keeping his seat were better as a Democrat. I think that the hair dye that he used for so many years has had an effect on his mental processes. Thereis a Demo congressman who actually was announced as running to unseat Spector - his candidacy has been scuttled by Obama's announcement that he would only campaign for incumbent Democrats - now that Spector has made the switch, that means Spector will get Obama's help and Democrat monetary aid. However, since snarlin Arlen voted against card check (one of his few good votes in my book)and Pennsylvania ia a union state, that vote will come back to haunt him come November 2010.
One other thought, with Spector's flip, the Democrats (with a fillibuster proof majority - since the Franken election will be certified as valid) wil have to explain any defections that they have from what would be an overwhelming passage of any legislation that appears on the Senate plate. Harry Reid may find himself not so tickled pink with the presence of his esteemed colleague in the Democrat caucus in the coming months.