Harry Reid on the Specter Party Swap
Here’s the statement just issued from the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in response to today’s news that Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch over to the Democratic Party in an attempt to salvage his political career.
I have known Senator Specter for more than a quarter-century. He has always been a man of honor and integrity, and a fine public servant.
Senator Specter and I have had a long dialogue about his place in an evolving Republican Party. We have not always agreed on every issue, but Senator Specter has shown a willingness to work in a bipartisan manner, put people over party, and do what is right for Pennsylvanians and all Americans.
I welcome Senator Specter and his moderate voice to our diverse caucus, and to continuing our open and honest debate about the best way to make life better for the American people.
The news, of course, is causing pandemonium in Washington, where the knee-jerk reaction has been one of wild optimism among Democrats that the switch will somehow be the magic wand that automatically means success for the party’s legislative priorities. Reid’s tempered statement seems to recognize that this won’t be the case on all issues. Indeed, Specter has already made clear that he still plans to oppose the union-friendly Employee Free Choice Act.