Maine’s Senator Susan Collins talks like a moderate Republican. Over and over, she walks right up to the Democrats side of the aisle on important issues such as the last Supreme Court justice and other women’s’ issues. Then, at the last moment, she pulls a Peanuts cartoon character move — Lucy sweeping back her football. This is just the latest.
The 66-year-old senator reminisced about a conversation she had with President Barack Obama right after his reelection. She recalled what he said, according to POLITICO:
‘You know Susan, they really like me in Maine. And I did really well in the last election.’
The senator recounted:
‘I practically had to bite my tongue in two to avoid saying: “They do like you Mr. President, but they liked me better.”‘
One of her Democratic opponents Sara Gideon has had the backing of the National Democrats. The Maine Democrat has served as State speaker of the House and raised over one million dollars the week after she launched her campaign against Collins.
There has been much disappointment over Collins’ supposed swing vote. It was her vote that installed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh into office. During his Supreme Court nomination hearing, he was credibly charged with assaulting a girl when they were in high school. Collins’s vote put him on the highest court:
‘Have I lost some votes because of my decision to support Justice Kavanaugh? Yes, I have. And I’m sad about that because I explained in great depth my decision-making (but) there still is an appreciation in Maine for someone who looks at the facts of an issue, votes with integrity and independence.’
Gideon remarked on Collins’ pattern of voting:
“She has voted with her party more than she ever has before. And I think that is worth repeating and remembering. Part of the whole aspect of Mainers feeling left behind by Sen. Collins is she can not decisively say where she is on an issue.’
Gideon asserted that Collins is no longer the senator she once was, after her No matter how you ask about Trump’s 2020 campaign, Collins answered the same: “Not going to go there.”
Gideon pointed to the senator’s “support for Trump’s nominees, the tax cuts that endangered Obamacare and her lack of a firm stance on Trump’s reelection:”
‘There will come a time when she’s going to have to make decisions and really tell people where she stands.’
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) admitted the party was concerned about Collins’ seat:
‘We’re paying a lot of attention to it. She’s made some tough votes, she stepped up big time and did a very courageous thing … on the Kavanaugh vote. But there’s a political price that comes with that. She’s the person that can keep that seat.’
Collins has not announced her campaign yet, but there appears to be little doubt that she would run for another term after serving since 1997:
‘No doubt that this is going to be a tough race [but] those who are eager to count me out … should take a look at , where I had a truly, very worthy superior candidate.’
It seemed that Collins has never established a relationship with Donald Trump other than by installing his court nominees, but she has talked to Ivanka Trump occasionally. The Maine senator has taken great offense to the idea she has not stood up to POTUS:
‘It’s never enough. Never. For those who truly hate the president, I’m never going to be able to do enough for them. I get tired of the “she speaks but doesn’t act.”‘
Democrats apparently find Collins easy to work with, but they are far more concerned about taking back the majority. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) said:
‘This isn’t about Susan You’ve got to make winning back the Senate a priority.’
Gideon supports expanding or reforming the Supreme Court, but she has not decided about the status of the legislative filibuster. Collins supported it:
‘You’re asking me questions that my six-week-old campaign self has not quite gotten to yet.’
Progressive-backed Betsy Sweet was passed over by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to endorse Gideon. Sweet said:
‘Careful, try not to say too much, don’t ruffle any feathers. People are hungry for real policy and they’re hungry for real ideas.’
Republican State Senator David Trahan (R-ME) noted:
“People in Maine do not like billionaires coming to our state to take out our senator.
‘I haven’t met anyone who works harder than her to be honest with you. And obviously I’m working hard to try to follow in her footsteps.’
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