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Shocker: Arlen Specter To Switch Parties

From the Wall Street Journal:

Sen. Specter To Switch Parties, Democrats Near 60 Vote Majority

Susan Davis

April 28, 2009

Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter is switching parties, handing Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama a powerful 60 vote super-majority in the U.S. Senate if Minnesota Democrat Al Franken is eventually seated in his long-running battle with Republican Norm Coleman. Here is Specter’s full statement:

Statement by Senator Arlen Specter

I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view. While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am. I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.

Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.

When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.

Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.

I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.

I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.

I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters. I can understand their disappointment. I am also disappointed that so many in the Party I have worked for for more than four decades do not want me to be their candidate. It is very painful on both sides. I thank specially Senators McConnell and Cornyn for their forbearance.

I am not making this decision because there are no important and interesting opportunities outside the Senate. I take on this complicated run for re-election because I am deeply concerned about the future of our country and I believe I have a significant contribution to make on many of the key issues of the day, especially medical research. NIH funding has saved or lengthened thousands of lives, including mine, and much more needs to be done. And my seniority is very important to continue to bring important projects vital to Pennsylvania’s economy.

I am taking this action now because there are fewer than thirteen months to the 2010 Pennsylvania Primary and there is much to be done in preparation for that election. Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle.

While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.

My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords’ switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.

Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy’s statement that sometimes Party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America.

The Post should clarify that Mr. Specter is moving from the Republican Party to the Democrat Party.

Most casual observers might not be clear.

I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.

The hell you say!

Lest we forget, this is the same man who President Bush squandered his political capital upon when he campaigned for him rather than a real conservative during his last re-election.

In any case, this is probably good news. It’s always good news when traitors are flushed from the ranks.

Besides, Mr. Toomey can save his money for the general.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

41 Responses to “Shocker: Arlen Specter To Switch Parties”

  1. Reality Bytes says:

    Praise The Lord! I thought he’d never leave!

  2. Confucius says:

    Why the announcement? Everyone already knew he was a traitorous, mealy-mouthed, rat b@st*rd.

    Good riddance.

  3. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    He won’t have to worry about being called a RHINO anymore (Republican In Name Only) but then again he was never a facsimile of one to begin with. It’s Jumping Jim Jeffords all over again. News flash Mr. Specter: You’re a coward. You’re chickening out and abandoning the party because you think all is lost against the tsunami of Obama mania. What’s popular isn’t always right and what’s right isn’t always popular.

    • JohnMG says:

      He’s jumping ship because the writing was on the wall. He would have been defeated in the primary races, much as he would have been defeated during the last primary cycle had not Bush and others of influence propped him up.

      Make no mistake, Specter is no class act. If he were, he would have declared himself an independent and continued to caucus with republicans much as Liebermann did with democrats. His parting move is nothing short of a final poke in the eye of the republican minority.

      This move is a blessing in disguise, as now people won’t be deluded about the political allegiance of one Arlen Specter. Now, if we can get Snowe and Collins to fly under their true colors, voters will not confuse party affiliation with political idiology and vote for the wrong candidate. If the republicans are, indeed, serious about coming back, they will recruit and then support in every way, only candidates who profess and practice ideals distinct from the opposition. Hopefully we have learned, vis-a-vis McCain, that when democrat-lite opposes democrat, liberally inclined people will vote for the real democrat, not the imposter.

      So, no more RINO’s hiding their liberal proclivities behind a party label generally associated with conservative values and practices.

      Sayanora Senator Specter. Don’t let the door hit ya’ on the ass on the way out. It’s been nice, and it’s been real. It just hasn’t been REAL nice.

    • Gila Monster says:

      As the wind blows, so blows this carpetbagging POS.

      You’re right JohnMG, Specter was headed for defeat in the 2010 PA Repub primary at the hands of Toomey. His seat was all but gone and he knew it so the little weasel jumps ship to take his chances in the Dhimmi primary. In his feeble mind, he at least stands a chance to get the nod from the Dim-bulbs.
      No matter, this is good for conservatives in the long run.

      FWIW, I think Specter and Dingy Harry were likely separated at birth so this reunion was inevitable.

    • JohnMG says:

      Care to take a bet, GM?

      You’re probably right in thinking Specter imagines he will get the nod from the Dems. I say they will snub him for the same reasons liberals snubbed McCain during the presidential elections. Why would they vote for democrat-lite when they could vote for the real thing? Specter’s finished.

      From somewhere in the distant past I remember a quote from an aspiring politician that goes….”My opponent deserves to be kicked in the head by a jackass, and I’m just the one to do it.”, only to be topped by this one….”Samson slew the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, and many a political career has been killed with the same instrument.”

      Specter will be hoisted on his own petard. How fitting!

    • proreason says:

      “Specter’s finished.”

      Unless it was directed by the puppet-masters, in which case the Dem opposition will lay down and the msm will lay roses at his feet.

      But the odds are that the slug is way way too conservative for the puppet-masters, so my guess is that mr. specter will be used and abused for the next year by criminals even more despicable than he is, and then discarded like a stained blue dress.

    • JohnMG says:

      Pretty much my point, Pro, pretty much. This opens up the opportunity for a real choice between candidates of differing idiologies. Think Rendell/Toomey.

    • Gila Monster says:

      Hell, I’m game JohnMG, bottle of Cazadores Blanco?

      Actually though, me thinks we’re betting the same line, Specter loses his seat in 2010 be it the Dhimmi primary or the general.

    • JohnMG says:

      I’ll see your bottle of Cazadores Blanco and raise you a bottle of Glenlivit Single Malt….the 12-year will be fine. I think I helped deplete the stock of 15-year stuff. But you’re right. We’re betting the same line. Either way, the loser finally loses, which will bring a tear of joy to my eyes.

    • Gila Monster says:

      Never been much of a Scotch drinker myself but I imagine Glenlivet would likely bring a tear to my eye too.
      Here’s to Specter’s upcoming butt whuppin’, clink-clink…

  4. curvyred says:

    He has not been a Republican for decades – good riddance.

  5. Trogdor says:

    One of the worst Republicans evah. Is there any chance that a blue dog Democrat will find it in their heart to move over?

  6. Reality Bytes says:

    A new broom sweeps clean.

  7. RightWinger says:

    Ditto, good riddance.

    Call McCain, Snowe, Collins and take them with you. Might as well clean house altogether and get rid of all the trash and rebuild anew.

  8. catie says:

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Arlen. Good riddance to bad rubbish and hope that McCain and the other RINOs go with him.

  9. Liberals Demise says:

    I knew if he took off that elephant costume we’d see him for the Jackass he truly is!!
    “See ya later stiffy!!”

  10. heykev says:

    “Lest we forget, this is the same man who President Bush squandered his political capital upon when he campaigned for him rather than a real conservative during his last re-election.”

    I never understood that one Bush really squandered an opportunity to get rid of him for good. At least people in PA will do so soon.

  11. annabetsy says:

    “Mr. Specter is moving from the Republican Party to the Democrat Party”…..

    -Don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out!!

  12. Enthalpy says:

    Arlen Specter is what he is. Now our conservative candidate will have the opportunity to defeat this worthless Democrat slime in the coming election.

  13. pdsand says:

    Once upon a time, Lewis Grizzard moved from a sports column to an opinion column. He said that he would continue to write editorials from time to time like he always had, but now that he was no longer in the sports section he wouldn’t have to feel bad about it.

  14. VMAN says:

    Did I hear somebody say “Good Riddance”?

  15. Wasn’t he a democrat until a Republican in a race for DA (1965 or so?)

  16. bajamann says:

    Does anyone remember his buddy Ira Einhorn? If he is saying that the GOP was trying to cleanse itself, he’s correct. He had to go. And yes, Jason Gillman, he was a Dem before he flipped. (or pretended to flip) I believe it was in 1980…I could be wrong,

  17. GL0120 says:

    Snarli’ Arlen has never been concerned for anyone but Arlen.
    I’d still like to know though who he was fronting for when he came up with that idea that a bullet could go through Governor Connelly’s torso, blow President Kennedy’s head apart and then just pop out onto the stretcher Kennedy was on without a scratch on it!
    I’d also like to know why the Republicans tolerated him for so long. When he came up with that Scottish Law nonsense I would have stripped him of his committee assignments, his parking spot, and his dreams!

  18. IronFistVelvetGlove says:

    Good riddance to bad rubbish!

  19. U NO HOO says:

    “whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view”

    Reminds me of the tower of babel.

    “Diverse points of view,”… a church with atheists and believers, paint the white house black, NAMBLA… the whole concept is kind of stupid.

    Follow the Constitution. (Not Old Iron Sides)

    • JohnMG says:

      Statement by Senator Arlen Specter

      …..”I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party…..”

      We sold the cow, Arlen. We don’t need your bull.

  20. Sharps Rifle says:

    This creep is no loss. He’s been scum for decades, and was at his scummiest when he turned on Judge Bork back in ’87.

    I’m glad he’s gone, and I hope he gets beaten in ’10.

    Now if only McVain, Grahamnesty, Collins, Snow and Lugar would just switch…

  21. canary says:

    His excuse speech lying that it was the Republicans party’s fault, instead of saying he lost his loyality to what’s honorable and right. His new opponent will rub his face in it, and he will come up with more and more foolish talk. He’s lost any dignity and honor that he could possibly find within himself, by himself.

  22. texaspsue says:

    “Say it ain’t so Joe” takes credit for Specter’s defection from GOP:

    From Houston Chronical:

    Biden says he helped persuade Specter to switch


    Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Houston on Tuesday turned out more celebratory than he expected.

    Hours after U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania rocked the political landscape by switching to the Democratic Party, Biden said here that he and a Houston lawyer had helped persuade Specter to make the leap.

    Biden was in town for a Democratic National Committee fundraising reception at the River Oaks home of lawyer Neal Manne — who served as Specter’s chief of staff in Washington in the 1980s. The event was scheduled several days ago.

    The vice president said that, as a senator from Delaware, he was Specter’s best friend in the Senate for 33 years, and that he and Manne “have been trying to remind Arlen that he is really Democrat.”

    “I have been working on that in earnest for the past four years and double time for the past 100 days (as vice president),” Biden added.

    “It seems only appropriate,” Biden told Manne in front of a crowd of about 30 donors and supporters, “that I am at your home on the day that Arlen Specter … came back home as a Democrat.”

    Biden recalled that Specter joined most senators in rejecting President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of conservative Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987.

    “Neal steeled (Specter’s) resolve on the Bork nomination … and we were able to keep Bork off the court,” the vice president said.


    I had no idea that was one of the Vice President’s duties, to encourage Republicans to switch parties. Who knew? :-)

    I wonder how the voters of Pennsylvania are taking this news?

    • pdsand says:

      I thought the vice president had no business interacting with the legislative branch. That sort of thing made Cheney the most dangerous man in America.

    • canary says:

      “I have been working on that in earnest for the past four years and double time for the past 100 days (as vice president),” Biden added.

      Pathetic waste for a vice-pres, to brag about. Think the India doctors who provide DE health care are writing Biden too many prescriptions, and he’ sharing. Their all acting like the stepsford wives movie.

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      Come on, this story just simply reeks of Biden’s style of compulsive “exaggeration”. Ol’ Plugs just can’t help himself.

  23. pdsand says:

    He is really making a great platform for himself. I betrayed the Republicans for decades, and I would like your permission to betray the Democrats for a few years. If you vote for me, I will not particularly represent your values, and first things first, I don’t bow to the unions. Vote Specter, Democrat for PA!

  24. jrmcdonald says:

    This is as shocking as Micheal Jackson liking little boys.

  25. Barbie says:

    And take John McCain and his little dog, Megan, with ya (oh that’s mean, Megan is very, very pretty. Neurotic and nuts, but very very pretty. (just joking about the dog comment – she’s a very attractive young lady)

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