Wow. The Democrats — if they ever bring in Al Franken — will control 60 seats in the US Senate fair and square.
According to CNN and reports from the Washington Post, Senator Arlen Specter has just announced that he is going to join the Democratic Party and run again for his Pennsylvania Senate seat in 2010 as a Dem.
This is huge news. I spoke with Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska last night at “The Week Awards Dinner” hosted by Margaret Carlson and Sir Harold Evans about the rough storms he often faces as a radical centrist Senator in an otherwise highly partisan Senate Chamber — and was impressed with how he articulated to me strong, informed support of President Obama’s general policy course and particularly Obama’s excellent foreign policy work.
I asked Senator Nelson, who often throws his own party off his back, how the Obama White House was treating him as I remember how the Bush White House lost then Vermont Republican Senator Jim Jeffords because of rude and diffident treatment.
Nelson said that he had excellent relations with Obama’s team — and that the Republican loss of Jim Jeffords was a “monumental mistake” of the Bush White House.
And now. . .the Repubs have lost Arlen Specter.
So, on a great number of issues, ‘the filibuster’ will be lurking in the shadows.
— Steve Clemons