Mr Specter, 79, had held secret talks with Mr Obama, along with other senior Democrats including Vice-President Joe Biden, ahead of his decision to leave the Republican Party, according to officials.
President Obama reached Specter to tell him, according to the aide, "You have my full support" and that we are "thrilled to have you."Ironically, Specter's decision to abandon the Republican Party can be traced to the bitter primary campaign between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Despite the mounting odds, Clinton dragged the nomination battle out until the bitter end and embarked on an unprecedented voter registration in the State. Thousands of
The White House released a photo Tuesday of the president on the phone with Specter.
"The party has shifted very far to the right. It was pretty far to the right in 2004, but to take away a couple hundred thousand Republicans who wanted to vote in the Democratic primary--they're dissatisfied with the Republican Party is the pretty obvious conclusion. So if you review the numbers and you add the math, the stimulus vote, that's why I ended up saying the prospects were bleak," he said. Republican primary voters have pilloried Specter for his yes vote on the stimulus.Now all we need is for Al Franken to be seated in the Senate and the Democrats have a filibuster proof 60 seats in the Senate!
"When you take a look at the Pennsylvania Republican electorate, several hundred thousand Republicans shifted last year and it has a bleak picture. We do not have a dominant voice there," Specter said.