The Hiller Instinct: Arlen Specter
But as much as he helped himself, he helped Barack Obama more.
The president says democrats are "thrilled" to have specter...and he could have added "blessed."
Because Specter's switch isn't just a game-changer... It's a game ender.
And the game that's over is the partisan battle between republicans and democrats in Washington, D.C.
What specter has done is the political equivalent of parting the red sea, which will get the blues--led by the president--to the promised land of the programs they've dreamed of for decades--including universal health care.
Specter gives the democrats sixty votes in the senate--exactly the number they need to be able to ignore the republicans.
Under the senate's strange rules, it takes sixty votes to stop a filibuster...and now, the democrats can...if the republicans try to kill legislation by talking it to death.
In one of his many campaigns in Pennsylvania, specter's slogan was "courage, clout, convictions."
Democrats would say that's exactly what he showed today. Republicans would use different words.
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