Here are some excerpts of an e-mail interview I did with Dodge earlier this week.
--On the key issues in a GOP primary
"I believe the key issue of the 2012 election cycle will be the state of the economy and the effect government is having on it. Factors like the debt burden, spending and taxation will be as important in 2012 as they were in 2010.
The fact is that in order for the economy to recover, the Federal budget needs to be drastically cut, the debt needs to be paid down and the tax burden on Americans needs to be decreased."
--On Sen. Snowe
"Sen. Snowe's record is absolutely terrible, both in the areas of preserving our freedoms and of creating a responsible fiscal policy.
She was the cosponsor of a proposal to give the government power to shut off the internet, and has come out in favor of the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold legislation, so she obviously doesn't care very much about the First Amendment.
She claims to be a fiscal conservative, but what kind of fiscal conservative would help vote a massive new entitlement out of committee in the teeth of her party and the people? She also voted against making the Bush tax-cuts permanent while voting for TARP and every other bailout."
--On Snowe's lurch to the right
"I'm not surprised Sen. Snowe has been making efforts to reach to the tea party movement. When you're staring down a group that could end your career, you don’t tend to antagonize them...If she wins, she'll go right on being moderate and won’t bat an eye about having lied to her constituents."
--On the Maine media's fawning coverage of Sen. Snowe
"Politicians aren't answerable to the media; they're answerable to the people...I hope Snowe keeps up her strategy of only talking to those who sing her praises. It'll keep her from ever hearing that she has weaknesses."
--On the conventional wisdom that he's not a serious challenger
"Spreading this meme is one that has worked successfully in the past for the Snowe machine. That and the one claiming that only Snowe can win in the general election. I wonder how that worked out for Robert Bennett or Charlie Crist.
I remember a time when the conventional wisdom said the tea party movement would not be a factor in the 2010 cycle. That turned out to be wrong...I know the burden of proof is on me to prove skeptics wrong, but I welcome that challenge."
--On raising enough money to be competitive
"The Snowe machine is an impressive leviathan to stand up against. However there are millions of people in this country that loathe Snowe with every inch of their being. Its not just the tea party movement that reviles her. While not letting on too much, we will be tapping into resource streams that look to defeat Snowe wherever they might be."