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Specter: I Hope Coleman Wins In Minnesota

(CBS)
Well, don't say it came as a proverbial bolt from the blue.

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, who last week crossed parties to become a Democrat, said on Tuesday that he hoped Republican Norm Coleman would be declard the winner win Minnesota's dragged-out senate race.

In a question-and-answer interview with the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Times reporter Deborah Solomon wanted to know whether he cared that there now would be no more Jewish Republicans left in the United States Senate.

"I sure do. There's still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner," Specter said.

Solomon quipped that seemed as likely as Jerry Seinfeld's joining the Senate. But Specter did not miss a beat.

"Well, it was about as likely as my becoming a Democrat," he said.

Coleman is defending his seat against Democrat (and former comedian himself) Al Franken. A court declared Franken the winner, but Coleman is challenging the results of the razor-thin ballot. The sides are slated to appear before the Minnesota Supreme Court next month.

Although word of the interview became an instant topic of conversation with the blogosphere-with the Daily Kos panning Specter's "Joe Lieberman impersonation," Specter can't be accused of misleading his new party. When he first appeared in public after deciding to leave the Republican Party, Specter made clear that he wasn't about to follow his new political ticket without question.

"Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy's statement that sometimes party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America," he said.

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    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.