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5:10 PM ET, April 28, 2009


 Top Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Specter To Switch Parties  —  UPDATED, 2:10 p.m. Continue following the story here.  —  Original Post  —  Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.
Statement by Senator Arlen Specter  —  I have been a Republican since 1966.  I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view.  While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am.
Lisa Lerer / The Politico:
Two Republicans blame conservatives  —  Two leading Republicans say Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to become a Democrat highlights the hostility moderates feel from an increasingly conservative GOP.  —  “You haven't certainly heard warm encouraging words about how [the GOP] views moderates …
Specter: ‘The disappointment runs in both directions’  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Veteran Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter said Tuesday that he switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party.  —  “I know I'm disappointing many of my colleagues,” he said at a news conference.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Specter switching parties  —  A source involved in the talks confirms that Senator Arlen Specter will switch to the Democratic Party, a dramatic move putting the Democrats within reach of two votes in the Senate.  —  The move stands to put the White House's agenda on a fast-track …
The New Republic:
Unprincipled Hack (D-PA)  —  When a politician switches parties, it's customary for the party he's abandoned to denounce him as an unprincipled hack, and the party he's joined to praise him as a brave convert who's genuinely seen the light.  But I think it's pretty clear that Specter is an unprincipled hack.
Discussion: Commentary and MoJo Blog Posts
Human Events:
Arlen Specter Switching Parties Today  —  HUMAN EVENTS has learned from staff sources that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa) is about to announce his switch to the Democratic Party.  —  Specter, a five-term Republican and ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is facing …
Carl Hulse / The Caucus:
Specter Switches Parties  —  Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said on Tuesday he would switch to the Democratic party, presenting Democrats with a possible 60th vote and the power to break Senate filibusters as they try to advance the Obama administration's new agenda.
The Politico:
Specter: I'm not an automatic 60th vote  —  Arlen Specter has crushed Republican spirits while causing Democrats to rejoice, but his stunning party switch came with a warning label: The Obama agenda isn't suddenly a slam dunk just because he's a Democrat now.  —  “I will not be an automatic 60th vote,” Specter said Tuesday afternoon.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Specter move caught GOP leaders by surprise  —  Senate Republican leaders said they had received no heads-up from Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) about his decision to leave the Republican Party and run for reelection as a Democrat.  —  Specter told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) …
Discussion: The Politico and Hot Air
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
WHY SPECTER'S SWITCH MATTERS.... Following up on the last item, talk of a “filibuster-proof” Democratic majority is a stretch.  For one thing, Norm Coleman just received a powerful reminder incentive to keep his legal fight going for as long as humanly possible.
Snowe calls Specter move ‘devastating’  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Olympia Snowe — one of the three moderate Republicans including Arlen Specter who supported President Obama's stimulus package — told CNN Tuesday that she has also been approached many times about becoming a Democrat, but that it hasn't happened for a while.
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Why Specter Did It — And Had To Do It  —  So why exactly has Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA D-PA) switched parties?  —  It really comes down to electability — specifically electability as a Republican.  Specter's own statement acknowledged that his support for the stimulus bill has made his position untenable with the GOP:
Timothy P. Carney /
Did DeMint's endorsement of Toomey set off Specter?
Discussion: Eschaton and Politics Daily
Specter to face a Democratic primary
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Specter courts conservatives in Pa. rematch
Discussion: The Politico and Ben Smith's Blog
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:   Club for Growth Speechless on Specter Switch
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Steele: Specter move not ‘based on principles of any kind’
Discussion: On Deadline
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
CNN's Rick Sanchez calls out DeMint's vapid talking point …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
David Espo / Associated Press:
Specter says he's switching from GOP to Dems
Discussion: Shadow Government and Neuroworld
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
GOP leaders: It's not our fault
Michael Barone /
Specter's switch: He's done it before
The New Majority:
Another Triumph for the Club for Growth
Matt Welch / Reason:   Arlen Specter, Democrat
Kos / Daily Kos:
The RNC responds  —  Not a bad response from RNC Chairman Michael Steele:
Discussion: Scorecard's Blog and MyDD
Joseph Abrams / Fox News:
Despite Reports, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Was Not Waterboarded 183 Times  —  The number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded was the focus of major media attention — and highly misleading.  —  —  The New York Times reported last week that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed …
Discussion: Donklephant
Emily Kaiser / City Pages:
Bachmann: ‘Interesting coincidence’ that Dems in power during swine flu outbreak  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann came up with another doozy during her interview Monday with Pajamas TV.  Does anyone think it's “interesting” that the last time we saw swine flu was during another Democratic president?
Andrew Blankstein / L.A. Now:
Two L.A. County deaths possibly related to swine flu, coroner says [Updated]
Discussion: Clusterstock
Washington Post:
Swine Flu Spreading, but Officials Say Travel Restrictions Do Little to Help
Discussion: Get There and beliefnet
News7 Poll: Terry McAuliffe holds double digit lead over Brian Moran & Creigh Deeds  —  A new poll gives Terry McAuliffe a double digit lead over Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds, his Democratic rivals for Governor.  —  But a majority of likely Democratic voters who responded to the News7 SurveyUSA poll …
Discussion: Blue Virginia
Washington Times:
Barack's in the basement  —  Obama is less popular than Nixon and Carter  —  President Obama's media cheerleaders are hailing how loved he is.  But at the 100-day mark of his presidency, Mr. Obama is the second-least-popular president in 40 years.  —  According to Gallup's April survey …
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 More Items: 
Michael Sneed / Chicago Sun Times:
Chris Kennedy mulls U.S. Senate bid
Discussion: Swing State Project and The Fix
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Miraculous Compromise  —  TPM Reader FB may be on to something ...
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Field not quite clear
Discussion: Open Left
UAW Said to Get 55% Chrysler Ownership, Board Seats
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Specter and EFCA  —  Grover Norquist tells the Washington Independent …
 Earlier Items: 
Media Matters:
Kilmeade opines that McCain “should not be allowed to talk …
Discussion: Think Progress
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Court partly upholds “dirty words” ban
Iain Martin / Telegraph:
Britain is going to need far more people like Sir Michael Caine
Pianist stops show with anti-US rant