The biggest news in politics today…

…is U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., switching affiliation to the Democratic Party.

Thoughts, anyone?

UPDATE @ 1:06 P.M.: Here’s what U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has to say about it:

“Senator Specter did the right thing for his state and our country, and I welcome him to the Democratic Party.

“He has given Democrats a huge lift. Senator Specter’s decision sends a tremendous signal to the country that people who want to bring about change are joining the Democratic Party. People who want to get things done, as Senator Specter does, are joining the Democratic Party.

“The Democratic Party is a big umbrella. The Republicans have a tiny, little umbrella – if you lean just a bit outside it, you get soaked.

“So, we are happy to have Senator Specter, and I look forward to working with him.”

UPDATE @ 4:08 P.M.: Just in from Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland:

“I welcome Senator Specter back to the Democratic Party. Senator Specter has long been an independent thinker and willing to work in a bipartisan way to do what is best for the American people. I look forward to working with him on issues such as medical research funding, criminal justice, education and other issues to help move this country forward.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Jo

    If you review Specters (unconstitutional) voting record you would have thought he was a Democrat anyways.

    Arlen Specter = R.I.N.O. = Republican In Name Only

    I hope some of the other R.I.N.O.s leave too. This is good for the G.O.P. which is trying to get back to real “conservative” values and principals. Specter is no conservative, and values very few Republican principals.

  • RR

    Here’s a message to all the Republicanos: Wise up, unless Obama messes up big time, so big that even the news media notice, Calif. conservatives can hold their next caucus in a phone-booth. (In the Bay Area, an even smaller venue would do)

  • Doug

    Call it for what it is, an old man who’s afraid of becoming irrelevant should he be voted out of the only thing he’s ever done. I’m not terribly concerned. He’s a fairly independant thinker and will be just as big a pain in the ass to the Dems as he was to the Republicans.

  • freakofthefarright

    We must continue the the purge of all moderate republicans. we must drive them like rats into the sea and have a pure conservative republican party. this must happen if we are to achive goal of ideological purity. I love it!

  • Elwood

    I just love Baba Booboo’s high school graduation photo.

    In this and other ways she seems to be regressing to infancy.