Should we be happy that Specter is now a Democrat? The question has two answers.

One of my friends just sent me this message:

Is it just me, or are you also wondering why in the world all of your democratic friends are also so excited about Specter?

John and I were just talking this subject. We don’t like Arlen Specter and don’t trust him. Never have. This was a calculated move by a calculating politician. Specter has no scruples and was worried about losing in the GOP primary next April.

Today, we’re not celebrating Specter. But, if we look at his move solely through a political prism, this decision is seismic. And, it’s just so fun to watch Republicans squirm.

The political optics just couldn’t be better. The DC pundits and talking heads love Arlen Specter (kinda the way they love Lieberman.) That crowd believes the hype that Specter is a moderate — and compared to the rest of the GOP, Specter is definitely more moderate. So, we’ll hear endless chatter about how the GOP has become a shrinking party. That means the talking heads will finally get something right.

Democrats have to play hard ball with Specter. He needs Democratic support now. He has to earn it. He may not vote for every issue on final passage, but he better stick with the Democratic caucus on busting GOP filibusters.

When it comes to Specter the person, it’s no great catch. But, politically, it’s pretty damn good.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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