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Olympia Snowe retiring- Ruh-Roh

This was just announced.  Snowe is retiring, which means this is a good opportunity for a Democrat, or other party politician, to pick up a seat in the Senate.  But why now?

Snowe says:

In announcing her plans, Snowe, 65, emphasized that she is in good health and was prepared for the campaign ahead. But she said she was swayed by the increasing polarization in Washington.

“Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,” Snowe said in a statement. “So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail.”

Something about this sounds ominous.  I thought Snowe was the Republicans’ secret weapon, always looking so damned reasonable until she started getting all Columbo on some detail in the bill she wasn’t happy with.  We could always count on Snowe to renege on any agreement.

So, which partisanship is she most afraid of?  I’ve heard some rumbling today that Steney Hoyer is going to try to push through a grand bargain during the lame duck session.  Does that have anything to do with it?  Screw the Democrats one last time before she gets out of Dodge?  Or does she see something even worse coming up and wants to get out of the way while she can?

I’ll take a stab at this: She is perturbed by the recent turn her own party has taken and doesn’t like what they are asking her to sign on to.  They’re being very uncompromising and inflexible and maybe even Olympia Snowe has a line she isn’t willing to cross.  So she’s bailing and throwing the seat to the Democrats.  That’s what it looks like.  It sounds like what’s coming is so significant that even Snowe won’t play Lucy with the football this time.  She’d rather hand over her seat to the opposition.  It’s happened before with those damned New England Republicans.  Remember Jeffords and Chafee?

I’m guessing that they’re going for either Social Security or abortion.

Any hints? Allegations?  Suspicions?

And is Chellie Pingree going to go for this seat?  Losing another woman from the Senate, even if she is a Republican is one we can ill afford to lose.

15 Responses

  1. maybe Mitt has asked her to run as his VP and she is unwilling to screw the people of Maine by leaving the seat open at the last minute. Maybe she wants to give some other woman time to properly prepare to run?
    But I think your theory is more likely.

    • I was just about to read Charles Pierce’s blog at Esquire. The front page blurb suggests that she was being asked to take a dive by Republican leadership.

      Including, it seems from the news tonight of the senior senator from Maine will not be seeking re-election, being asked to lose to a crazy person come November. Either the Democrats’ chances just got a lot better, or the insurgency continues. In either case, a fascinating interview with Senator Snowe from 2008 is herewith, conducted by someone who may or may not live in the same home as the purveyor of this here blog….

      Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/#ixzz1njLqhGuT

      Whatever the Republicans are up to, they were planning to continue it way after the election.

  2. They’re going after Social Security. Obama and Hoyer and all the Wall Street CorporCrats want to destroy it and loot the money and call it “reform”.

    It is a very good reason to vote against Obama, because if a Republican becomes President, the Democrats will pretend to defend Social Security to protect the pathetic tattered remnants of their political ” brand value”. Whereas if Obama becomes President again, the Democrats will collaborate with Obama to destroy Social Security under cover of those “uncompromising Republicans” who “made them do it”. So protecting Social Security from the Simpson Obama Catfood Conspiracy is a very good reason to prefer a Republican President right there. IFF! the Republican in question isn’t also a Christian Satanist who wants to bomb Tehran to start World War Three in order to hasten the return of Christ and the Advent of His Thousand Year Kingdom. That is why it is so very important that Romney become the R nominee rather than vile filth such as Santorum or Paylinn or Bachmann or Huckabee. And that’s why I voted for Romney in the primary today.

    Or perhaps The Lady From Maine also sees the next leg downward of Great Depression 2.0 quietly approaching and just doesn’t want to be around for that event either.

  3. She’s 65, wants to make money as a lobbyist, and doesn’t want to run again because it takes a lot of money and energy and then she’s committed for another six years during which she can’t make money as a lobbyist.
    It’s not ominous. It’s what they do.

  4. Her husband (McKernan) is potentially in legal trouble. She likely figured that the Democrats would find out more about his situation than the legal system would, so she’s not going to take that risk.

  5. maybe she is getting ready to make like her political hero Margaret Chase Smith and run for President. Maybe she has been asked by her party powers that be to be ready to serve if it comes to a brokered convention.
    It is starting to look pretty obvious that republicans are screwed whether Romney or Santorum is nominated. Snow I could vote for.

    • What an interesting proposition. God knows the Republicans really need to shake it up, just as our esteemed blogmistress was urging the Democrats to do.

    • that would be very interesting. But she’s probably less popular than Ron Paul within her own party. Unless, she gets courted by whoever is backing Romney. I’d hate to have to vote for Snowe.

      • I figure rather than years of democrats acting like republicans, I would rather have real republicans in office, republican women. She’s to the left of many of the democrats I have been pushed to vote for.

        • I wish you were right, but Republican politicians are weird creatures. I think they are conditioned to be obedient to their party leader or just don’t play the game at all. There are only a few that exercise their consciences and buck their party. They tend to get treated badly so they don’t do it. In other words, the minute they feel they can no longer be obedient to their party leader, their careers are over.
          So, as “moderate” as Olympia Snowe might seem, you can bet that if she ever gets back into politics as a Republican, she’s going to do what they tell her to do. She had to get out because she wouldn’t act like a Tea Partier. If that’s the way the party is going, that’s what she will have to become. She couldn’t and she’s out.
          There is no middle ground for this Republican party.

  6. And Stephen King is elected to the Senate in an ironic twist of “The Dead Zone.”

  7. Explanations I’ve seen upthread . . . like she wants to cash in as a lobbyist or avoid public exposure to her husband’s upcoming legal difficulties, or maybe wants to be Romney’s VP candidate, make more
    Occam’s Razor sense than my theory about her not wanting to be around for the Simpson-Obama Catfood Conspiracy 2.0.

    • Or maybe they just couldn’t convince her to sell women out on the Blunt amendment. If she’s going to retire, there’s not a whole lot of leverage they can use against her is there?

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