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Arlen Specter's political flip: The old videos that foretell today's news

April 28, 2009 |  7:09 pm

When he heard that Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania was changing political parties, blogger Don Surber asked: "You mean he's becoming a Republican?"

Of course, it's black humor for the GOP -- as The Ticket reported here earlier today -- many of whose members have had their doubts about Specter's political leanings and loyalties for a long time and could well have seen Specter defeated in his own party's primary next year, as Joe Lieberman was in Connecticut, had he not jumped over to likely join Al Franken in Happy Harry Reid's Gang of 60.

Turns out, thanks to this video from the C-SPAN "Booknotes" archives in 2001, those suspicions about Specter were well-foiunded. Here, Specter explains to Brian Lamb how he happened to run as a Pennsylvania Republican the first time.

Keep scrolling because down below we have a second video, a little-known copy of Specter's earnest at times off-color attempt at being a stand-up comedian in a Washington club. Specter might control himself a little more Wednesday in a White House meeting with both President Obama, who now promises to campaign for the 79-year-old Specter next year, and the Pennsylvanian's very, very longtime Senate colleague, Joe Biden.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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