I nap, world flips

From First Read:
The Washington Post's Cillizza first reported and NBC News confirms that Republican Sen. Arlen Specter has switched parties, which would give Democrats a filibuster-proof 60 seats if/once Al Franken is seated.

Here's Specter's statement.
Man this is the 100th day present from Heaven and Hell. Heaven because the Republicans are now out in the cold, Democrats are closer than ever to a new filibuster proof majority, senior senators are turning over facing primaries.

Here's the Hell part: much like the GOP in 2000, if Democrats don't deliver shit on their promises there will be hell to pay among the American people and particularly among those on the left. Shit won't be allowed to slide. The political world has flipped.

Specter was facing a horrible re-election campaign. His poll numbers and approval ratings were trash. The catalyst for this may have been a threatening primary challenge in 2010 from former Club for Growth director Pat Toomey.

Health care is now something that we can foreseeably do and if not, I'm sure Bob Casey can primary him out anyways.

I love this from First Read:
RNC Chairman Michael Steele on Specter: "Some in the Republican Party are happy about this. I am not. Let's be honest-Senator Specter didn't leave the GOP based on principles of any kind. He left to further his personal political interests because he knew that he was going to lose a Republican primary due to his left-wing voting record. Republicans look forward to beating Sen. Specter in 2010, assuming the Democrats don't do it first."

Well someone's bitter.

And here's the best part from MSNBC's First Read: The inside deal cut for him to switch over.

Capitol Hill sources tell NBC News there had been active discussion between senior Democratic leadership and Arlen Specter for about three weeks.

NO DEM OPPONENT PROMISED: Specter was promised that the Democratic Party would fully support his candidacy as a Democrat and would not back any other Democrat seeking the seat. "In money and message," the party will be behind Specter. Any other Democrat who intends to run will "not have the blessing of the party."

NO CHAIRMANSHIP ON THE TABLE: Sources say Specter will not be given a chairmanship during this Congress, the 111th. For now, "chairmanships were not on the table" as a part of the party switch negotiations.

NOTIFICATION: Specter told McConnell today after signaling to Reid and other leaders in the "last day or so" that he was willing to switch, sources said.

APPROACHED DURING STIMULUS DEBATE: Reid and Sen. Menedez, head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, approached Specter during the stimulus negotiations to suggest a party switch. At that time, sources say Specter indicated he was "willing to think about it." Sources say Specter was disappointed that he had increasingly been at odds with his party. Specter insisted to Reid that he would vote his conscience and would not always be a Dem party-line vote as indicated in Specter's own release.

"THINGS HE STILL WANTS TO GET DONE": Specter told Democratic leadership that there are "things he still wants to get done" in office, according to sources. Collectively, their conversations determined he was unlikely to win in 2010.

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