60! Wait, No... 58!

The headline over at Talking Points Memo right now is "60!" in reference to Al Franken's pending arrival in the Senate, reflecting the fact that Democrats now have 60 seats, a filibuster-proof majority. At least on paper. In reality, it's not quite so simple. A quiet concern in the White House is the logistical difficulty of getting Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, both of them long absent with serious health issues, to the Senate floor to cast a vote. This is putting additional pressure on conservative Democrats like Evan Bayh to toe the party line, and raising the importance of  Olympia Snow and Susan Collins, considered to be the two most gettable Republicans on issues like health care.

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Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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