[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/10/art.getty.limbaugh.jpg caption=" Limbaugh did concede the downside of Specter's defection."]
(CNN) - Conservative host Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday he isn't sorry to see Arlen Specter leave the GOP - and that many Republicans wish the Pennsylvania senator would take a few others with him when he goes.
"A lot of people say, 'Well, Specter, take [Sen. John] McCain with you. And his daughter [Meghan]. Take McCain and his daughter with you if you're gonna..." he told listeners, dissolving in laughter.
".....It's ultimately good. You're weeding out people who aren't really Republicans," he said.
Limbaugh did concede the downside of Specter's defection. "It makes the Senate essentially as big a slam dunk for Obama and the Democrats as the House of Representatives already is," he said.
Earlier this month, Specter said Limbaugh did have a tendency to make "provocative" statements, but told radio host Howard Stern he didn't have a problem with the conservative talker. "Do I like Limbaugh?... yeah, I like him," he said then.
UPDATE: Late Tuesday afternoon, Meghan McCain fired back on Twitter. "RED TIL I'M DEAD BABY!!! I love the republican party enough to give it constructive criticism, I love my party and sure as hell not leavin!"
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/28/art.kaine.gi.jpg caption="Kaine is welcoming Specter into the Democratic Party with open arms."](CNN) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine wants to make sure Arlen Specter feels right at home in the Democratic Party.
Kaine sent out an e-mail to more than 250,000 Democratic activists in Pennsylvania encouraging them to write a note on the party's Web site welcoming Specter.
"Join me in welcoming Senator Specter as he joins President Obama and Senate Democrats to create jobs and put the country back on the right track," Kaine wrote in the e-mail.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/28/art.wh1.gi.jpg caption="Specter will head to the White House Tuesday morning."](CNN) - Newly minted Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter will meet with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House Wednesday Morning.
The three will address the media in the Diplomatic Room at 8 a.m. ET, the White House announced.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/28/low.flying.plane/art.low.airplane.wabc.jpg caption=" Witnesses reported seeing a plane circle over the Upper New York Bay near the Statue of Liberty."]NEW YORK (CNN) - A "furious" President Obama has ordered a review of the decision to fly a Boeing 747 frighteningly close to the lower Manhattan skyline, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.
The review will focus on "why that decision was made and to ensure that it never happens again," Gibbs said. Jim Messina, a deputy chief of staff, will lead the effort.
On Tuesday, Obama told reporters, "It was a mistake. It was something we found out about along with all of you. And it will not happen again."
Officials said that when Obama first found out about the incident, he was "furious."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/28/art.sebelius.gi.jpg caption="The Senate has confirmed Sebelius to head the HHS."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate confirmed former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services Tuesday on a 65-31 vote.
With the Sebelius confirmation, every Cabinet post in the Obama administration has now been filled.
(CNN) - A heated Michael Steele told CNN Tuesday longtime Republican Sen. Arlen Specter essentially "flipped the bird" at the GOP leadership with his decision to bolt from the party he has been a member of for more than four decades.
Speaking to CNN's Gloria Borger and Kyra Philips, the Republican National Committee Chairman said it was "not only disrespectful, but downright rude" of Specter to make this decision after the national party made it clear it would stand behind him in a contentious primary fight.
"[National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John] Cornyn went out on the line for this man," he said. "For the senator to flip the bird back to Senator Cornyn and the Republican Senate Leadership, a team that stood by him, who went to the bat for him in 2004, to save his hide is not only disrespectful but down right rude,"
"I'm sure his mama didn't raise him this way," Steele added.
Steele, who said Specter had not given the party leadership a heads up about his decision, also expressed confidence the Pennsylvania senator would either lose a Democratic primary in his home state or the general election to the eventual Republican candidate.
"I seriously doubt he'll have a scot-free ride on the Democratic side no matter what kind of deal the trial lawyers and Democratic Party have made," Steele said. "[Pennsylvania] Gov. Ed Rendell may not run for the U.S. Senate, but a lot of congressmen will look at that seat - this is an open seat for the Democrats."
"If Sen. Specter survives in the fall - get ready to go to the mat, baby, because we're coming after you and taking you out," added Steele.
(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden held six in-person meetings and at least eight phone calls with Arlen Specter since the Pennsylvania senator voted for President Obama's stimulus package in February, a White House aide told CNN.
(CNN) - Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter didn't only shock the political world with his decision to leave the Republican Party Tuesday, he made history.
Specter is the first senator elected as a Republican to switch directly to the Democratic Party.
Overall, Specter is the 13th senator since the direct election of U.S. Senators was established in 1913 by the 17th Amendment to have switched parties while in office.
And in what good be a good sign for Specter, every party-switcher who ran for re-election on his new party's ticket retained his Senate seat.
More info after the jump
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama honored the nation's top teacher Tuesday at the White House.
In the first official Rose Garden ceremony of his presidency, Obama named Anthony Mullens, an educator from Greenwich, Connecticut, Teacher of the Year and acknowledged under-recognized educators across the United States.
"In a global economy where the greatest job qualification isn't what you can do, but what you know, our teachers are the key to our nation's success, to whether America will lead the world in the discoveries and the innovations and economic prosperity of this new century," Obama said. "That's why, as president, I am committed to doing everything I can to support the work of teachers."
The president also gave a nod to Arne Duncan, saying he's confident his Education Secretary will be written up as "one of the greatest Secretaries of Education we've ever had."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - An Air Force source tells CNN that the White House Military Office's planned photo shoot over various Washington monuments next week has now been cancelled. The source would not go on the record as the person was not authorized to do so.