TPMDC Morning Roundup

Specter: Senate’s Status As Greatest Deliberative Body ‘Has Been Destroyed’
The New York Times reports that the debate on health care has exacerbated the sense of partisanship in the Senate. “This body prides itself on being the world’s greatest deliberative body,” said Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), who switched parties from the Republicans earlier this year. “That designation has been destroyed with what has occurred here the past few days.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET, and will meet at 10 a.m. ET with members of the National Economic Council. He will meet at 11:15 a.m. ET with SAVE award winner Nancy Fichtner, and will deliver remarks at 11:30 a.m. ET on making government more efficient and effective. He will meet with senior advisers at 11:45 a.m. ET. He will meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 4:30 p.m. ET.Cloture Vote Foreshadows Conference Tussle Over Final Health Care Bill
The Hill points out that the Congressional battle over health care is still not over, as the Senate and House versions must now meet in conference committee. “This cloture vote is based on a full understanding that there will be a limited conference between the Senate and House,” said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), in a statement. “If there are material changes in that conference report different from this bill that adversely affect the agreement, I reserve the right to vote against the next cloture vote.”

GOP Tactics Cut Both Ways In Senate
Roll Call reports that the obstructionist tactics of the Senate Republicans have caused a reaction among Democrats, spurring them to a greater unity to pass legislation on party-line votes. “It’s like they’ve gone too far,” said Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who noted the growing unity of Democrats in recent days. “I think it has [helped]. They’ve energized the troops.”

Coburn: Sanders And I ‘Would Be The Best Of Friends If We Thought Similarly’
In a new Roll Call profile of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has used his leverage on the left on issues such as the confirmation of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) declares: “We’d be the best of friends if we thought similarly. We just happen to be 180 degrees apart.” Coburn recently tied up the Senate by forcing a full reading of Sanders’ single-payer amendment, which was cut off when Sanders withdrew the amendment and secured a favorable ruling from the parliamentarian.

Schwarzenegger: Obama A ‘Great Communicator’
Appearing on State of the Union, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) gave President Obama some rare praise from a Republican. “He’s out there with tremendous energy and he’s selling his ideas. And he has great enthusiasm there. He’s a great speaker, a great communicator,” said Schwarzenegger, also adding: “He has to hang in there, be tough, just continue on, never give up, eventually he’s going to get all those things done.”

Huckabee: ‘I Like Having A Life’
In a new Washington Post profile, former presidential candidate (and potential 2012 candidate) Mike Huckabee says he enjoys his current job on Fox News, instead of a conventional political role. “I’d need to be out courting donors almost nonstop. I really enjoy what I’m doing immensely. I like having a life,” said Huckabee. “There’s a certain level of enjoyment in the independence I have. Someone puts a microphone in my face and demands I answer a question, I can say, ‘Put it where the sun don’t shine.'”