May 15, 2002


Jeffords Hits Campaign Trail : Independent Senator Will Host Events For Carnahan, Kirk (Ben Pershing, May 13, 2002, Roll Call)
Jeffords' decision to leave the GOP in June 2001 - throwing control of the Senate to Democrats by a one-seat margin - has probably been Democrats' most euphoric moment this cycle. Party strategists are eager to showcase the Vermont Senator as a way of firing up the Democratic base.

"Obviously, our party was a little disheartened after the events in Florida, and when [Jeffords] made his very principled decision, it really energized our party and got everyone excited," said DSCC spokeswoman Tovah Ravitz-Meehan.

Jim Jeffords should have switched to the Democrats long ago. His views are more in line with theirs than with the GOP on every significant issue. But when you consider the timing of his switch--immediately after running for reelection as a Republican in a tough year for Democrats in Vermont--and that he only agreed to switch in exchange for keeping his committee chairmanship, it's awfully hard to argue that he acted on principle. Posted by Orrin Judd at May 15, 2002 9:38 PM
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