WASHINGTON (AP) - Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter is heading
back to the Democratic Party again.
Republicans are blasting his announcement of a party switch as
political opportunism that will leave everything in Washington in
full control of one party.
But Democrats are delighted. It leaves them with 59 votes in the
Senate. That means that if Al Franken can finally sew up his bid in
Minnesota the Democrats would be able to end filibusters. That's
provided they can hold their ranks in line.
Specter says he won't be an automatic 60th vote for Democrats.
President Barack Obama is enthusiastically welcoming Specter
back to the party that he left in 1965. He and Vice President Joe
Biden will be appearing with Specter at the White House this
Democrats inside and outside the White House insist Specter made
the decision on his own and without pressure from Obama's inner or
outer circle. The White House says it didn't promise Specter
anything, such as a plum committee assignment or a clear Democratic