Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA)--who has signed a letter urging the Senate to pass the public option through the budget reconciliation process--says don't hold your breath.
"I think the public option ought to be done, but it's a long shot," Specter said on a conference call in response to a question from TPMDC.
"Regrettably the case, which started with the town meetings in August...has persuaded the American people that the public option would be a governmental takeover of health care," Specter went on. "It's really not, it's an option."
The public option actually has the support of a significant majority of the country. Pressed to square that fact with his sense that voters don't support it, Specter clarified: "I get that sense from my travels throughout the state and around the country. People are madder than hell at the government," he said.