Behind The Headlines: Specter Of A New Political Landscape

Easy Explanation:  A long-time senior political consultant to Specter - a consultant who was already working on the 2010 campaign and was in touch with Specter several times weekly - said that Specter changed parties "because he couldn't win a GOP primary."


Thanks a lot, Hillary!

 The contested primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama captured the attention of Pennsylvania moderates and resulted in a significant registration shift among moderates in Republican areas to Democratic.



Labor's Mixed Reaction. On the one hand, labor folks have some time to convince Specter than an EFCA vote won't be as bad. On the other hand, they don't have their own pro-EFCA Democrat to do it with. "Card check" legislation really hasn't advanced. Specter will risk being seen as wishy-washy (even more so!) if he changes his mind after saying he wouldn't. ON THE OTHER HAND -- Specter could be the compromise-broker.


Time flies. Two weeks ago, Specter said he'd be a Republican forever. 


Santorum's Turn?  Here's a chance to get his name back from Dan Savage. Rick Santorum, more visible of late than usual, may decide he wants to run for Senate, sted Governor. We'll see.


Schumer's Take:  The GOP is  "inhospitable to moderates."


What's Easier for Obama Right Now:  Nothing. 


What's Easier For Obama Soon: Getting to 60 on health care this year is inevitable now. Giving labor more room to maneuver during the legislative negotiations is also more likely. Getting some judges through, although Specter will want to retain his independence.
Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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