Byrd: Specter Gives Dems ‘An Intellectual Shot in the Arm’
Sen. Robert Byrd, a nine-term West Virginia Democrat and the upper chamber’s in-house constitutional scholar, said the following in a statement:
[Specter] is tough, thorough, and he can’t be intimidated. I am delighted to welcome him as a Democratic colleague. Arlen Specter gives our side of the aisle not only a numerical boost, but also an intellectual shot in the arm.
And indeed, Specter’s reputation is one of a free-thinking moderate. Yet if he wasn’t intimidated by GOP leaders, what’s to indicate that he’ll suddenly latch on to the Democrats’ legislative priorities simply because he’ll have a “D” before his name?
Politically speaking, Specter’s move is a desperate attempt to salvage his career in Washington. What it means legislatively has yet to be seen.