This move by Senator Specter does not surprise me.
“I know I’m disappointing many of my colleagues,” he said at a news conference. “The disappointment runs in both directions.
“I’m putting principle at the top of the list,” he added.
When asked how and when he made the decision, Specter said, “the decision has been reached as I have traveled the state [Pennsylvania] in the last several months. Specifically, I got my home poll results last Friday … and consulted with my campaign managers and had a long discussion. … I came to a decision over this past weekend.”
Specter also said that President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would campaign for him as he runs for re-election — now on the Democratic ticket — in the 2010 race.
The Specter party switch would give Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate majority of 60 seats if Al Franken holds his current lead in the disputed Minnesota Senate race.
“Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right,” Specter said in a statement posted by his office on PoliticsPA.com.
“Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.”
Specter, a five-term Senate veteran, was greeted by a loud, sustained round of applause by dozens of constituents outside his Washington office shortly after the news broke.
“I don’t have to say anything to them,” a smiling Specter said. “They’ve said it to me