Saying the GOP has moved too much to the right, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania announced yesterday he will be seeking reelection as a Democrat next year.
The move will also offer Senate Democrats a possible 60th vote, allowing them to block filibuster and facilitate the Obama administration’s implementation of its new agenda.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine commented on Specter’s move saying his willingness to set politics aside and be part of a solution to the country’s problems will find a welcome reception in the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden admitted he had encouraged Specter to switch for several years.
The Republicans, on the other hand, did not hide their disappointment and warned the Pennsylvania senator’s decision will lead to unchecked power by the White House and Congress.
"The threat to the country presented … by this defection really relates to the issue of whether or not in the U.S. our people want the majority party to have whatever it wants without restraint, without a check or balance," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
However, Elsie Hillman, former Republican National Committeewoman, said that while she was saddened by the news, Specter "is the brightest member of the U.S. Senate and I will continue to support him and will vote for him in next year’s general election."