4. On the surface, this looks like a unilateral decision rather than the result of a negotiation with Reid.
5. Specter announced right away that he won’t be an automatic cloture vote and that he’s still against EFCA, which he used to be for. Maybe that means he’s hoping to do the negotiation after the switch: a subcommittee and no primary in return for some votes.
6. In Reid’s shoes, I wouldn’t be inclined to deal. The best way to get Arlen’s vote is to make him compete in a Democratic primary. He might well be beaten, giving us an actual Democrat rather than another Ben Nelson or Blanche Lincoln. There’s simply no reason to have a Senator from Pennsylvania who votes against workers’ rights. If Specter were beaten, I can’t see the victor then losing to the Club for Growth guy in November.
7. 59/99 = 0.595959…< 0.6. Even with Specter, the Dems won't be able to break a filibuster against seating Franken without at least one Republican vote.