The Washington Examiner‘s Byron York reports today that Senator Arlen Specter, formerly of the Republican party, relinquished Senatorial seniority in jumping ship of late. Democrats, to whom Senator Specter gave a filibuster-proof Congressional majority with his defection, will effectively give up 28 years of seniority in the Senate.
The move makes it hard for Senator Specter to argue “clout” as a campaign tool; any Democrat successor elected in his place will have as much pull in 2011 as the Senator would himself. It also makes it hard to argue Specter was courted by Democrats; it appears more likely now his jump was a surprise to both sides of the aisle. Or at least was meant to look like it.