Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, who last month almost single-handedly passed President Barack Obama’s $819 billion stimulus package, today confirmed rumors that he would switch party affiliation for his 2010 reelection bid.
“I plan to run as a Republican,” said Specter. “I know this switch will upset the balance of power in the Senate, but my conscience compels me.”
An unnamed spokesman for the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) said the move “throws the whole race into a chaotic state” as the Democratic party now faces the daunting challenge of finding a candidate to attack Specter from the left.
“There’s not a lot of room to maneuver on that side of Arlen,” the DSCC source said. “But we’ve already phoned the Philadelphia Bar Association and local union leaders for recommendations.”
Meanwhile, likely Republican candidate Pat Toomey, the former congressman, now has another factor to consider before announcing his bid for the seat.
“I’m not too concerned,” said Toomey, now president of Club for Growth, which promotes economic growth through limited government and lower taxes. “It just means that I’d face Arlen Specter in May instead of November.”
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he had lost a reliable party-line vote.
“This is a terrible tragedy,” said Reid. “Arlen has been so steadfast, I don’t think the Majority Whip has ever seen the inside of his office. He didn’t need any arm-twisting.”
Still, Reid held out hope that Specter would consider crossing the aisle to vote with Democrats on key issues.
“Just because he’s wearing the elephant pin these days,” said Reid, “doesn’t mean he can’t step back over to our side from time to time and act like a donkey again. Just look at John McCain.”
Meanwhile, back at Pajamas HQ, AlfonZo Rachel Presents President Zo-Bama and his less than perspicacious PorTaPrompter.