So now it seems that Specter didn't really switch so much as he came out.
That's the word from Jovial Joe Biden.
Ya see, Joe knew all along.
He always knew Arlen was a Democrat.
And of course, Joe takes much of the credit for Arlen's coming out.
Joe says he's been pleading with Darlin Arlen (aka "Benedict Arlen") to come out for at least four years. And the way Joe sees it, Arlen's been with Joe's team ever since 1987.
In fact, Joe and Arlen even shared a good buddy who also played a role in Arlen's coming out as a Democrat.
Well, here's the story from Alan Bernstein in the Houston Chronicle:
Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Houston on Tuesday turned out more celebratory than he expected.
Hours after U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania rocked the political landscape by switching to the Democratic Party, Biden said here that he and a Houston lawyer had helped persuade Specter to make the leap.
Biden was in town for a Democratic National Committee fundraising reception at the River Oaks home of lawyer Neal Manne — who served as Specter’s chief of staff in Washington in the 1980s. The event was scheduled several days ago.
The vice president said that, as a senator from Delaware, he was Specter’s best friend in the Senate for 33 years, and that he and Manne “have been trying to remind Arlen that he is really Democrat.”
“I have been working on that in earnest for the past four years and double time for the past 100 days (as vice president),” Biden added.
“It seems only appropriate,” Biden told Manne in front of a crowd of about 30 donors and supporters, “that I am at your home on the day that Arlen Specter … came back home as a Democrat.”
Biden recalled that Specter joined most senators in rejecting President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of conservative Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987.
“Neal steeled (Specter’s) resolve on the Bork nomination … and we were able to keep Bork off the court,” the vice president said.
Specter won’t join Democrats on every legislative vote, Biden said, but the switch is “a good thing for my friend Arlen, it’s a good thing for our party but it’s even better for the country.”
“On the real critical issues, health care and others, I think you are going to see it’s going to make a significant difference,” he added.
He then turned to his host, Manne.
“So thanks for prepping him that whole time, buddy,” Biden wisecracked.