Arlen Specter of PA has switched from Republican to Democrat, announcing that he'll run as a D in the 2010 Pennsylvania primary. For those who are elated thinking seating Specter and Franken add up to 60 votes for Democrats, think again. Here are Specter's own words:
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.
As usual, Specter is with you unless you need him.
What this really does is keep a real Democrat from running and winning in Pennsylvania.
Specter is one of the better-known senators in America. If you follow politics even casually, you've seen or heard him on the news before. So it's going to register with you that a major Republican senator has decided his party has become too extreme for him. And if you're a Republican, you might wonder if it's become too extreme for you, as well.
(also posted at The Seminal)