Losing focus

By AL DIAMON  |  August 8, 2012

Snowe didn't take the snub well. Following her surprise decision not to seek another term, she began acting as if Summers, the Republican candidate to replace her, didn't exist. Which, given his most recent poll numbers, might not be far from the truth. The rift all but assures that what should have been a safe GOP seat will be lost to independent Angus King in the fall election.

If this were the only sign of party disunity, it might not have broader implications. But with LePage offering weekly rhetorical reasons for Republican moderates to distance themselves from him (the IRS is the "new Gestapo," "I don't care where you go in this country, if you come from Maine, you're looked down upon now"), he's adding to the stress fractures. Then there was chairman Webster's clumsy attempt to pack the state committee with his hand-picked supporters to thwart efforts by the Paultroons to oust him. And when disgruntled GOP mainstreamers Peter Cianchette and Jan Staples issued wholesale challenges to the seating of Maine national convention delegates who favor Ron Paul, the sound of seams splitting could be heard all the way to LePage's retirement home in Florida.

It won't be difficult to quantify the impact these distractions have on the November vote. If Republican Kevin Raye loses to Democratic US Representative Mike Michaud in the 2nd District, if Dems make major gains in the Legislature, if Cynthia Dill finishes in double figures, it will largely be the fault of the above-mentioned pols for letting their egos and emotions mess up what should have been a custom-made scenario for long-term success.

I'll shut my fat yap. Open yours by emailing me at aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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  Topics: Talking Politics , Politics, Maine Republican Party, Paul Lepage
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