When asked by gal pal Elaine about the likelihood of convincing a love interest to “change teams,” Jerry Seinfeld declared, “He’s not going to suddenly switch sides. When you join that team it’s not a whim. He likes his team. He’s set with that team.”
Well, not always. This week, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., announced that he’s no longer, um, comfortable with the GOP’s equipment (namely, their increasingly right-wing positions, he said) and will therefore compete in his state’s 2010 Democratic primary.
The trade deal had apparently been some time in the making. Illinois’ Dick Durbin, also the Dems’ No. 2 guy in the Senate, released a statement saying: “For some time now, many of us in the Senate have approached Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and asked him to join the Democratic caucus.” Specter’s moving to the other side also gives Democrats 60 votes, and more importantly, the ability to tell Senate Republicans GFYS on controversial legislation they would otherwise be able to block.
Meanwhile, Roland Burris, the junior senator from Illinois whose removal from office remains a possibility depending on the outcome of a Sangamon County state’s attorney investigation, is staying mum for the most part. “Senator Burris welcomes Senator Specter to the Democratic side and looks forward to working with him,” was all we were able to get from his Illinois press office about Specter’s conversion.