Strange bedfellows

By AL DIAMON  |  June 1, 2011

In 2000, she told the Portland Press Herald, "People want independent-minded officials who are willing to cross party lines. I have to think that, philosophically as well as politically, people realize that I am in the center."

In 2006, Snowe had to deal with George W. Bush's unpopularity in the state, so she shifted to the left, telling the Associated Press, "Maine people appreciate my independent voice and my willingness to stand up to the president and the party, to be a voice of reason and a consensus builder."

In the run-up to 2012, Snowe has turned rightward. Vote-tracking services show her siding with the GOP more than 90 percent of the time in the current Congress, compared to less than 70 percent two years ago. And she's sucking up to the Tea Party. "Frankly, I share their frustration," she told the AP. "They raised some significant issues about the direction of our country."

An April op-ed read like she's doing a LePage imitation. "Outdated and ineffective regulations hurt the environment and harm small business," she proclaimed. "Why should everyday citizens seeking to create jobs and prosperity bear the brunt of noncompliance by federal agencies that refuse to review the regulations they enforce?"

Snowe's latest move means Grossman will have about as much effect on Maine elections as he did in those other states.

As Weston put it, "He's a conductor looking for an orchestra."

If I struck a chord, e-mail me at aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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