|October 14, 2009|
|Clone Olympia Snowe, the Pride of the Senate|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|The New York Stock Exchange cracked the 10,000 mark today for the first time this year as news sunk in that Maine's Republican Senator Olympia Snowe cast a vote in support of the Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare bill. |
Wall Street is poised for another big day tomorrow as reports circulate that the other half of the Republican moderate caucus, Maine's Sue Collins, may also give the Democrats a vote on health reform.
Can South Carolina's Lindsey Graham or Ohio's George Voinovich be next to jump ship? Imagine the fireworks!
Happy Days are certainly here again. Dow 20,000, here we come!
Just kidding, but the media and blogosphere are handling Snowe's "betrayal" in a fashion that is way over the top. Last night, MSNBC was wondering about the political consequences faced by Snowe. One shudders to imagine what the gang at Fox News was up to.
The reality: Snowe can serve the good people of "The Pine Tree State" as long as she doesn’t melt. The 62-year-old, three-term senator received 74 percent of the vote during her last election in 2006. She was elected to Congress in '78, and at that time ranked as the youngest GOP woman to win a House seat. As wife of two-term former Governor Jock McKernan, Snowe is as close to royalty as it gets in Maine.
Collins enjoys a similar political pedigree. She was first elected to the Senate in '96 and grabbed 61 percent of the vote in '08. Collins' parents both served as Mayor of Caribou, Me. Her roots are deep.
Snowe and Collins fret little about political retribution. It's too bad they can't be cloned.
President Obama is wrong to crow about Snowe's single vote as a show of "bipartisanship." Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is correct to say one vote does not bipartisanship make. Neither do a handful of others from the ranks of the 40 GOP Senators on Capitol Hill.
The U.S. will be in a much better place when party lines are not as rigid as they are today. Politics does not always have to be a blood sport. A legend like Ted Kennedy is remembered because he was not out to destroy political rivals.
(Image via CUNY)
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