TPMDC Sunday Roundup

Specter: “I’m Becoming Much More Comfortable With The Democrats’ Approach”
During his appearance today on CBS’ Face The Nation, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) said that besides just the tough Republican primary he was facing, there was genuine principle at work in his party switch. “Frankly, I was disappointed that the Republican Party didn’t want me as their candidate,” said Specter. “But as a matter of principle, I’m becoming much more comfortable with the Democrats’ approach.”

GOP Sen. Hatch: Obama Using “Code Words” For Wanting Activist Judge
Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) accused President Obama of using code words for the type of Supreme Court Justice he will seek. “He’s also said that a judge has to be a person of empathy — what does that mean? Usually that’s a code word for an activist judge,” said Hatch. “But he also said that, that, he’s going to select judges on the basis of their personal politics, their personal feelings, their personal preferences. Now, you know those are all code words for an activist judge who’s going to be partisan on the bench.”Steele Backer: He’s Willing To Work With Critics, But Won’t Be Handcuffed
RNC chairman Michael Steele appeared at this weekend’s Wisconsin Republican convention, where state party chairman and staunch Steele ally Reince Priebus told reporters that Steele is working toward a compromise with RNC members who are attempting to change the rules regarding Steele’s financial control. Priebus said Steele is willing to have rules that create greater transparency in spending, while also not restricting him: “But Michael is not going to be handcuffed.”

Romney Invokes American Revolution: GOP Are Revolutionaries, Dems Are Monarchists
At Saturday’s kickoff event of the GOP’s new town hall initiative, the National Council for a New America, Mitt Romney invoked the spirit of the American Revolution. “We are the party of the revolutionaries, they [Democrats] are the party of the monarchists,” said Romney, adding that the GOP needs to “once again lead the American Revolution.”

GOP Sen. Shelby: Obama Should Pick “Pragmatist” For SCOTUS
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Richard Shelby gave his two cents as to what sort of Supreme Court nominee should be selected. “I have no illusions about President Obama appointing a conservative like Alito or Roberts,” said Shelby. “But if he will appoint a pragmatist, someone who is not an ideologue, that someone is not just going to light all the lightbulbs in America on the left, I think that would be good for the country.” He also added that “I’m not a payback type guy” in terms of resisting the nominee as a matter of course.

Kentucky GOPer Grayson: Bunning Is Okay With My Exploratory Committee
Kentucky Sec. of State Trey Grayson (R) told the Lexington Herald-Leader that Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) did give him permission to form an exploratory committee to run for Bunning’s seat, first suggesting it weeks ago. “I met with him on Wednesday and told him I was ready to move forward and he still supported the idea,” said Grayson. Bunning’s spokesman has said Bunning still “has every intention of running,” but this does seem to point in the direction that he might retire.

Feds Looking Into Edwards Campaign Money, Rielle Hunter Affair
Federal investigators are now looking into whether former Sen. John Edwards’ (D-NC) campaign improperly used funds to hush up his affair with Rielle Hunter. “I am confident that no funds from my campaign were used improperly,” Edwards said in a statement. “However, I know that it is the role of government to ensure that this is true. We have made available to the United States both the people and the information necessary to help them get the issue resolved efficiently and in a timely matter.”

Jack Kemp Dies, Age 73
Jack Kemp, the former Buffalo Bills quarterback, GOP Congressman from upstate New York, HUD Secretary and 1996 Republican nominee for Vice President, has died of cancer at the age of 73. All of us at TPM would offer our condolences to his friends and family.