“When I came back to the cloak room after coming to the agreement a week ago today,” said Specter, “one of my colleagues said, ‘Arlen, I’m proud of you.’ My Republican colleague said, ‘Arlen, I’m proud of you.’ I said, ‘Are you going to vote with me?’ And he said, ‘No, I might have a primary.’ And I said, ‘Well, you know very well I’m going to have a primary.'”…
“I think there are a lot of people in the Republican caucus who are glad to see this action taken without their fingerprints, without their participation,” he said.
Specter was asked, How many of your colleagues?
“I think a sizable number,” he said. “I think a good part of the caucus agrees with the person I quoted, but I wouldn’t want to begin to speculate on numbers.”
Follow the link for audio. 48 percent of unaffiliated Pennsylvanians say they’re less likely to support him after this versus just 27 percent who say they’re more likely. Among Republicans, the less-likelies stand at 58 percent. Pat Toomey, call your office! Exit question: Who was the mystery colleague who congratulated Specter? Presumably it’s someone up for re-election in 2010. Voinovich and Mel Martinez would have been obvious guesses — except that they’re both retiring. Maverick is normally all for squishy bipartisan compromise, but he’s too vocal an opponent of this pork orgy to be a suspect. Chuck Grassley’s a possibility, but he’s popular at home and has been serving since 1981. Hard to believe he’d be worried about a primary challenge. How about Jim Bunning? The GOP’s been nudging him to retire, especially since he hasn’t raised much money for his next campaign yet. A yes vote on the stimulus might have given Cornyn and the NRSC a pretext to oppose him in the primary. The only problem: Bunning’s a “fiscal conservative hero.” How likely is it that he’d be hungry for a crap sandwich?
I’m stumped. Any guesses? Johnny Isakson? Richard Burr?