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Arlen Specter Statement on Switch to Democratic Party

Specter

Arlen Specter's statement about today's stunning news that Specter is switching parties.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

And here's a good round-up of reactions. Republicans rip...

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  1. It is certainly a welcome move for consequences, but he does make it sound completely selfish - all I could get from it is that he thinks Republican = lose in 2010, and he's too important to not be a senator.

    He could be right for all I know, but I would have expected more spin.

    Posted by: PM | Apr 28, 2009 4:55:50 PM


  2. Now if the damn Minnesota Supreme Court would just move up its hearing to decide Franken v. Coleman, maybe we'll never have to hear from the GOP ever again.

    A boy can dream, can't he?

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 28, 2009 5:14:33 PM


  3. I don't trust him...He's taking a page from Lieberman's playbook on how to win an election even though you lost the primary.

    Posted by: AggieCowboy | Apr 28, 2009 5:16:03 PM


  4. PM, it kind of sounds like that, but what he's saying is that the PA Republican Party would never seat him as their candidate because of his yes vote on the stimulus. So yes, it's definitely about his desire to remain a Senator, but it's also about the fact that he wouldn't even be allowed to run if he remained a Republican. Since the yes vote, he's been blackballed by the GOP.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 28, 2009 5:41:01 PM


  5. Some mistakenly said in the other thread about this that Arlene was center-left.

    For pennsylvania and the rest of the north east he is center-right. In mississippi , alabama etc he is centrist. He is no lib

    This is good for the short term for the magic 60 and for his own political life but in the long run this is bad because a strong lib dem could have wiped the floor with either him or toomy for the repubs in the general.

    Oh well, for the short term this is good in breaking repub filibusters so we can get straight up and down majority votes

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Apr 28, 2009 5:45:35 PM


  6. Thanks Paul R; I do tend to glaze over trying to watch whole political broadcasts, particularly US ones - so much more complicated than the UK!
    It's like the UK system multiplied by 50, with an extra layer of complexity perched on top.

    I pretty much just rely on Towleroad to point out the good guys & gals from the bad.

    So... does this mean the Democrats HAVE to support him as their candidate in his next election, or can they just put someone else forward anyway - assuming that doing so won't just terminally split their vote if he's going to stand regardless?

    Posted by: PM | Apr 28, 2009 6:51:46 PM


  7. His motive is to get re-elected...but there's really nothing disingenuous about it. I'm sorry that people can't find the balls to run independantly and win, but I'm glad he switched when he did if that's what it took.

    It's really important that he win the general election because the assclown he was avoiding in the republican primary, Toomey, is a total creep.

    It feels like we just got rid of Prick Santorum and now here comes someone else who makes him look like Ralph Nader.

    Think Tony Perkins meets Karl Rove, rolled up in Phyllis Schlafly's rotting corpse.

    Posted by: paul c | Apr 28, 2009 7:17:21 PM


  8. While a knee-jerk reaction to this is that he's being politically selfish, let's look at the facts. He's being 100% honest about that, it's aboveboard. Basically what he's saying is that the GOP, as co-opted by the far right, not only isn't a place for moderates like himself, it's by their own doing. That is a perfectly reasonable interpretation of what's going on, and not unethical in the least.

    Posted by: Bruno | Apr 28, 2009 7:58:15 PM


  9. as a polical moderate I welcome Spector. But I also see him for the opportunist whore that he is.

    How is Congressman Markey's wife doing these days??

    Posted by: dc20008 | Apr 28, 2009 8:16:24 PM


  10. PM, I wouldn't say the Democrats absolutely have to support him. But I would say that---given his name recognition, cross-party popularity, and the inevitable deals he made with the Dems before agreeing to switch parties---there's almost zero chance they won't. There's no way he would have done this without first getting some promises from the Dems. And don't worry about not understanding all the machinations; most Americans don't, and systems often vary by state here. In this case, his party basically told him to piss off.

    The writing is on the wall for a lot of Republicans. If Obama's popularity holds and his efforts succeed (which I grant remains a big if; no one can predict the future), the GOP is going to be in the gutter for quite some time. Specter had reason to switch first because he's already a pariah in his party, but it wouldn't surprise me if others follow his lead or just quit politics entirely to make real Republican money...

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 29, 2009 1:04:07 AM


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