Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is switchinghis party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. Specter, who receives more campaign contributions from the financial sector than any other Republican, announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat.
The Washington Post reports that Specter’s decision gives Democrats a 60 seat filibuster proof majority in the Senate.
“I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary,” said Specter in the statement. “I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.”
“Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right,” Specter said.
That seems a bit of a stretch. Is the Republican Party now much more conservative than it was the year Ronald Reagan was elected? Last year, the GOP nominated as its presidential candidate John McCain a centrist with a track record of supporting big government, a loose interpretation of the constitution and has been known to oppose tax cuts. His daughter is now prominently calling on the GOP to become more friendly to gay rights. Hardly seems like a party run by crazed right-wingers.
It seems far more likely that Specter is going Democrat to run away from a likely primary challenge from former Congressman Pat Toomey, who is said to be considering building his campaign around an anti-bailout theme. Specter voted for the TARP and the Obama stimulus plan.