Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why Arlen Specter "Defected"

Senator Arlen Specter became a Democrat yesterday, for the purposes of saving his political career. The senior Senator from Pennsylvania was always forced to walk a fine line in the Republican party-appeasing his moderate to left leaning constituency while remaining loyal to the Party. However, eyeing his re-election year of 2010, and pondering the diminished status of the Republican Party in the state of Pennsylvania, Senator Specter realized that he could no longer walk that line as a Republican.

Consider the strategically superior position that the Senator has just assumed: Were he to run for re-election to the Senate as a Republican, he would have had to face off against a Pennsylvanian Democrat, likely supported in full by a DNC eager to regain that Blue State's Senate seat. Now however, he will run for Senate as the incumbent, senior Democrat, against a marginally popular Republican challenger. In fact, considering the brilliance of this strategy from a self-interested political perspective, we are surprised that it is not employed more often. That being said, we expect that as the tactical nuances of Senator Specter's little maneuver become more apparent, there will be other moderate Republican politicians from traditionally blue states to "defect" to the Democratic Party. It only makes sense.
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