Tongue in Cheek?

May 5, 2009 1:24 pm

The NYT Magazine has now published the interview with Arlen Specter in which he says he wants Norm Coleman to win — but seeing the answer Specter gave in context, I want to leave open the possibility that Specter was joking. A bad joke, poorly delivered, but maybe a joke.

The interview is one of those Deborah Solomon Q&As, which are “condensed and edited”:

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.

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.

I don’t want to let Specter off the hook, but that doesn’t seem quite as clear cut read in context as initial reports of the leaked interview suggested. In any event, Specter did support Coleman’s re-election, of course, and joined the GOP conference in demanding that Franken not be seated until the legal process was complete.

We have a request in to Specter’s office for comment.

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