Specter Finds His Inner Democrat

After rocky beginning, GOP turncoat sticks to new side of aisle
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2009 10:45 AM CDT
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., greets Sen. Arlen Specter D-Pa. on an elevator in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 12, 2009.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – Arlen Specter’s first days as a Democrat may not have gone well, but since then he’s settled in and sided with his new party on nearly every vote, Politico reports. He’s gone from staunch opponent of the Employee Free Choice act to a key negotiator for it, come to Nancy Pelosi’s defense against the CIA, and said he’s now open to a public option on health care.

Specter dismissed the notion that he’s buffing his credentials for a primary bout with Joe Sestak, and he denied he’s changed drastically. He says his reservations are helping him forge consensus on those issues. “I’ll tell you, in my position you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t,” he says. “If you change your position, you’re flip-flopping, and if you stick with your position, you’re against the party.”