Arlen Specter is seventy-nine years old. He is a fighter. He has defeated cancer twice, and won six terms in the US Senate. He does not like the idea of losing. Therefore, it is pretty easy to understand why he has switched parties. His evaluation of his chances of defeating Pat Toomey in the Republican primary in Pennsylvania showed him losing by a considerable margin. That is why he stated that he was not willing to let his performance as a Senator be judged by Pennsylvania’s Republican primary voters. It seems to me that the Republican primary voters put him in the Senate last time, was their opinion valid then?
Power Line posted an article speculating what sort of deal was made in order for Specter to switch to the Democrat party. It is interesting that President Obama has already endorsed him as the Democrat candidate for the Senate in Pennsylvania despite the fact that there were already other people running against him! It will also be interesting to watch his vote on ‘card check’. Card check is a union activists dream and Pennsylvania is a big union state. This could be interesting.
In my (sometimes less than) humble opinion, there are a few people to watch as this drama unfolds. The theory is that Arlen Specter gives the Democrat party a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. I wonder if they can count on Specter’s vote any more than the Republicans could. There are also a few other people to watch in this current situation. In the porkulus budget bill recently passed, there were three Democrats who did not vote yes. Robert Byrd did not vote. Evan Bayh of Indiana voted no. Ben Nelson of Nebraska voted no. I believe that Evan Bayh has his eye on the White House. If President Obama’s policies are obviously awful by 2012, I believe he could be challenged in a Democrat primary by either (or both) Hillary Clinton and Evan Bayh. Keep an eye on Evan Bayh’s votes and on his appearances on TV news shows on Sunday mornings. We have three and a half years to watch this show!