An email: “Last night he mentioned that his switch was triggered by his move to the Beltway; he didn’t realize how Left-wing the national party was until he met the Democratic Senate Caucus. This awareness grew until ‘the final straw’: the Dems’ response to 9/11.
“He discussed it on TV last night, but WaPo also notes it in a recent article.”
Zell was being discussed as a possible Republican convert before 9/11–when Jeffords gave the Senate to the Democrats in the spring, some people talked about Miller’s giving it back to the GOP. And the notion that he finally realized that the Democrats were a left-wing party in early 2001 is just not a great testament to his acuity.