"Well, you did it, Arlen. You finally decided to leave the Republican Party and become a Democrat."
"I certainly did."
"And you did it with such flair! Actually admitting in front of all those reporters that you were doing this because you had no chance of getting the Republican nomination for re-election in 2010! Voters eat up self-less acts of political courage like that!"
"So, I really do want to spend my eighties in the Senate, Joe."
"And we're thrilled to have you, Arlen. Just thrilled."
"Now, about that committee chairmanship --"
"And the way you slapped the face of all those other Republicans who stood by you at great political risk to themselves during your last tough primary challenge back in 2004! That was super, Arlen! Just super!"
"I'm a martyr to my principles, Joe."
"And you're hilarious! I can't wait to see you and Franken yukking it up in the cloakroom. Why, with the two of you, we'll finally have that magic, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and can ram through absolutely anything we want with no need to compromise! On anything! Good-bye, checks and balances!"
"Uh, Joe? I did say that I wouldn't be your automatic 60th vote."
"Sure, sure! We'll gladly overlook you being a maverick on some minor issue we don't really care about. That's just senatorial courtesy."
"What is it, buddy?"
"The President's going to make sure all those Pennsylvania supporters of his guarantee me a win in the Democratic primary now, right?"
"You're a funny guy, Arlen. I'm going to miss that sense of humor."