Specter still pulling for Coleman victory

The new Democrat's comments aren't likely to win him any friends with his Senate colleagues, or with his party's activists.

Published May 5, 2009 8:30PM (EDT)

Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., isn't exactly making tons of friends in his new party. And if leaked excerpts of an interview he gave to the New York Times Magazine are any indication of the piece's full content, he's about to anger even more of his fellow Democrats.

Both Time's Mark Halperin and the Washington Examiner's Byron York are reporting that in the interview Specter said he still wants former Sen. Norm Coleman to come out the winner of his legal battle with Democratic challenger Al Franken. York has the question and answer, though  it's not yet clear if there's any additional context:

With your departure from the Republican Party, there are no more Jewish Republicans in the Senate. Do you care about that?

I sure do. There’s still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.

York says the question's phrasing indicates that this "[is] not solely a matter of party loyalty or disloyalty." That is one way of looking at it, though of course it's not solely a matter of religion, either, as Franken's Jewish, too.

Update: The Times has now published the full interview, which provides a little more context. Here's the follow-up question and answer:

Which seems about as likely at this point as Jerry Seinfeld's joining the Senate.

Well, it was about as likely as my becoming a Democrat.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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