Admittedly, the idea of challenging the three-term senator isn’t all that appealing. She already has more than $2 million in her campaign treasury and a solid favorability rating. While she strikes a majority of her own party as too liberal, Collins polls well among independents and even holds an early lead among registered Democrats. And if her votes are examined closely, it becomes clear that while her rhetoric is decidedly centrist, her record for the past two years has tracked well to the right and closely aligns with Republican leadership.
Collins’s perceived independence is largely a matter of public relations. But it’s excellent public relations that allows her to say one thing and vote in the opposite direction, to speak disparagingly of special interests while her husband runs a lobbying firm, to leverage contrasting procedural votes to allow her to claim to have backed whatever side is most politically advantageous at the moment.
Somebody in the GOP who’s not suffering from congenital wacko syndrome should be taking Collins to task for her ambiguous record and adroit maneuvering around any position that might conflict with her moderate image. If such a courageous creature dared to get up on his or her hind legs and proclaim that while Bennett may be topless, Empress Susan is wearing no clothes at all, I’d be writing this column about that person.
Which would be nowhere near as much fun as ridiculing Erick Bennett.
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