When Sen. Snowe went to talk health care reform with President Obama yesterday, the White House paired her with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE). Both are fence-sitters who are seen as potential--and perhaps crucial--"yes" votes on reform legislation.
Sen. Collins, on the other hand, was invited to see the President as part of a group rounded out by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). All three are reform critics whose votes really don't figure into the success or failure of the legislation.
So has the junior senator's stock gone down inside the White House? (Remember, Collins had the benefit of a one-on-one meeting with the President during the stimulus debate.)
Are Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to blame?
Or has the White House simply concluded, based on Collins' record, that the junior senator is likely to be an obstacle to meaningful health care reform?
UPDATE: Or maybe someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue remembers what happened the last time they listened to Collins.