Story posted October 14, 2009
Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) cast the only Republican vote in favor of the Senate finance committee's healthcare bill.
As a member of the so-called "Gang of Six," Snowe continues to be pivotal in the ongoing healthcare debate, and DeAlva Stanwood Alexander Professor of Government Christian Potholm has become the go-to person when it comes to providing insight into Snowe's important role.
The article, "Where the Mild Things Are: Olympia Snowe Continues Maine's Long Tradition of Rewarding Pragmatic Senators," reports that Maine has had "some of the most influential senators of the last 50 years," including Republicans Margaret Chase Smith and William Cohen '62, and Democrats Edmund Muskie and George Mitchell '54.
The piece notes that Potholm, while speaking at an event attended by Sen. Snowe at Colby College, credited Smith with creating the archetype of the GOP Maine senator. Read the article.
"She is impervious to an attack from the left or the right. She's a heroine," says Potholm in what is said to be Canada's largest-circulation national newspaper.
"Maine voters want a certain kind of Republican. They wouldn't like her if she did something just to please the right wing or the Republican Party," he says, adding: "People in Maine, regardless of political affiliation, they want our problems solved." Read the article.
"People have a great sense that if anybody knows whether it's a good or bad bill, it will be her," said Potholm in the article, "Snowe Went 'Back and Forth' Till End." Read the article.
The Globe also included Potholm's observations on the matter in its August 18, 2009, coverage. Read the article.
"She's basically untouchable," said Potholm of Maine's senior senator in the article, "All Eyes are on Olympia Snowe in Healthcare Debate."
"When the lefty loonies start screaming, or the right-wing kooks come after her, the rest say [she] must be doing something right."
The piece also notes Maine's long-cherished tradition of electing lawmakers unafraid to ignore partisan attachments, and includes as an example William S. Cohen '62, who, as a U.S. Representative, voted to impeach President Richard Nixon.
"The expectation is that a senator from Maine will be a nationally significant figure," says Potholm. "For 60 years the image has been country first, state second and party third." Read the article.
"The defeat in California, which was by no means predicted, was a terrible black eye" for supporters of same-sex marriage, says Potholm in the article, "Same-Sex Marriage Fight Roils Maine."
"They very much want to make Maine a place where they turn that around.’" Read the article.
The paper ran an Associated Press story about the money raised on both sides of the referendum regarding Maine's gay marriage law.
"This is a huge national issue coming after defeat of gay marriage in California, and Maine is where the defenders of gay marriage are making their stand," says Potholm in the article. Read the article.