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The Ghost of Senator Chafee

The ghost of Senator Lincoln Chafee, it seems, has put a scare into erstwhile Republican Senator Arlen Specter.

Specter, of Pennsylvania, announced today that he is switching to the Democratic Party. The move allows the moderate to avoid a bruising primary battle with conservative Pat Toomey, former head of the anti-tax group Club for Growth.

The Club, as you may recall, was the group that poured boatloads of cash into former Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey's primary challenge to then-Republican Senator Chafee in 2006 - a knock-down, drag-out affair blamed, in part, for Chafee's general election defeat at the hands of Sheldon Whitehouse.

Specter, at a news conference today, tore into the Club for taking swipes at moderates like Chafee and quickly assumed the mantle of Democratic standard-bearer with no less than President Obama agreeing to endorse him and travel to Pennsylvania to campaign on his behalf.

One wonders what a similar switcheroo, circa 2005, might have done for Senator Chafee...But then our governor's race would not be nearly as interesting. 

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