Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Arlen Specter Defects

How the White House Learned of Specter's Decision

Washington Post — President Obama was being briefed by his economic advisers Tuesday morning when his personal secretary, Katie Johnson, made a rare interruption.
Sen. Arlen Specter is on the phone and would like to speak to you, she told the president, according to a senior official present at the time. Obama waved her off, noting that he was in a meeting at the moment.
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Some Democrats skeptical of Specter's party switch

L.A. Times — Reporting from Washington -- Sen. Arlen Specter's defection from the Republican Party drew cheers Tuesday from President Obama and other top Democrats. But some key players in the party base viewed the move with suspicion -- demanding that if Specter wants to call himself a Democrat, he had better start acting like one.
As a moderate Republican, Specter maintained friendly relations with Pennsylvania's powerful labor unions, which were glad to have him on their side on many issues. Now, if Specter hopes to win next year's Democratic primary and retain his seat, that will not be enough.
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GOP Confronts Its Future Viability

Wall Street Journal — Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to become a Democrat underscores his former party's political downward spiral.
In losing control of the House and Senate over the past four years, congressional Republicans have also lost much of their ideological and geographic diversity -- raising questions about the GOP's viability as a national party. The party has suffered in particular in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, and among moderates.
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