Tidbits: Keeping tabs on the Specter switch


From JTA:

  • For the first time in decades, there will be no moderate Jewish GOP voice in the Senate with Arlen’s Specter’s switch.
  • And Montgomery County Democratic Party head Marcel Groen says he’ll do everything he can to keep the Democratic primary field clear for Specter.
  • Republican Jewish Coalition head Matt Brooks says he was disappointed and surprised by Specter’s announcment, considering he had spoken to the senator last week about attending the annual RJC meeting in June.
  • The RJC pointed out an 2003 press release the National Jewish Democratic Council wrote ripping Specter for failing the "principle test."
  • Pa. Rep. Josh Shapiro, a rumored Democratic candidate for Specter’s seat before yesterday, says he now won’t be running.

From elsewhere around the Web:

  • Who will be the new ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee? Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo examines the candidates.
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman welcomes "another independent minded Democrat" to the caucus, notes TPM.
  • M.J. Rosenberg says Specter’s defection is "partial payback to the GOP for what they have done to America in recent years."
  • Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin, former editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponnent, calls Specter "the quintessential opportunist" and says he’s "bound to be as feckless and faithless a Democrat as he was a Republican."
  • David Frum says "it is better for conservatives to have 60% sway within a majority party than to have 100% control of a minority party. And until and unless there is an honored place made in the Republican party for people who think like Arlen Specter, we will remain a minority party."
  • This is an amazing find. In 2001, reacting to Jim Jeffords leaving the GOP, Specter proposed a rule change to prevent senators from switching parties in midsession, reports Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review.
  • Appearing with the president this morning,  reports Jake Tapper, Specter said Obama approached him during his presidential campaign and said: “Tell me, Arlen, if a Jewish kid from Kansas can carry Pennsylvania, how can a black kid from Kansas carry Pennsylvania?”
  • Specter recently wrote a piece for the New York Review of Books on "The Need to Roll Back Presidential Power Grabs," outlining legislation that would strengthen the place of the courts and Congress in the system of "checks and balances."

From the video file:

The Obama-Biden-Specter press conference…

 Specter’s Tuesday press conference…

From 2001, on why he left the Democratic Party…

Joe Lieberman on Arlen Specter…

Recommended from JTA