You may recall that part of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's pitch to Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, wooing him from the Republican to the Democratic side of the aisle, was that the longtime Pa. senator would receive seniority in the Democratic caucus as if he'd been a Democrat all along, despite first taking office as a Republican in 1981.
There are sure to be some bruised egos, angry words and hurt feelings among the other Democrats as Specter elbows his way onto Senate committees. It will be a while before we know how that part of his changeover shakes out.
But, we do know that last night Senate staffers literally moved Specter's seat in the Senate chamber from the Republican side of the aisle over to the Democratic side. And true to Reid's word, Specter got a nice spot indeed, in the second row, between longtime Democrats Patrick Leahy of Vermont, in office since 1975, and Chris Dodd of Connecticut, in office since 1981, and right behind the Senate majority leader and minority leader's desks.
It should be said that there are some quirks to the seating chart, for example Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., keeping his brother's seat in the back row despite now being one of the most senior Democrats and senior New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg's place of honor in the front row regardless of seniority. For more details on seating arrangements for the 111th Congress, click HERE.