Friday, December 13, 2013

Quote of the Day

Al Diamon:

[Sen. Susan] Collins' 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.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Quote of the Day

Former Sen. Olympia Snowe speculating about what former Republican Sen. Margaret Chase Smith would think of the modern GOP:

"Oh my, gosh! She’d be appalled...I don't think she could conceive of how it's all evolved today. Even in my own experience, it's hard to comprehend."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Quote of the Day

Markos Moulitsas:

If Wall Street was really smart, they'd start getting the less crazy Republicans, like Mark Kirk and Susan Collins, to switch parties, reinforcing the ranks of Wall Street Dems in Congress and giving the corporatists a functional governing majority. And if that happened, it would be our turn for a good ol' civil war, just like the one the GOP is currently waging.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Collins Open To Social Security Cuts

There's no other way to read this:

Q: Some are concerned that Social Security will be targeted in the next round of budget talks. There are concerns that a change to the so-called chained CPI will erode benefits.

A: Well, I think we have to be very careful as we take a look at the Social Security and Medicare programs. If we change the consumer price index, we could not do so without increasing the minimum benefit for Social Security.

Collins doesn't reject switching Social Security to a chained CPI model, which would slash benefits. She's just saying that the switch should be coupled with an increase to the minimum amount given out by the program.

That might help make up some of the difference for some of the three Maine seniors out of every five who count on Social Security for more than half their income.

But in a state where one in five residents receives Social Security and where the median elderly househould relies on Social Security for 74% (!) of its income, Collins's minor caveat shouldn't provide much solace.

Monday, December 2, 2013

And Then There Were Two?


Republican Sen. Susan Collins won't be unopposed on the primary ballot.

The head of a group that opposed same-sex marriage in Maine says he'll offer a conservative voice in the GOP primary. Erick Bennett, director of the Maine Equal Rights Center, said he’s filing his paperwork Monday.

Predictably, there's already been more focus on Bennett's quirks--particularly from Maine journalists--than there's been on his policy positions, his standing with Maine Republican voters or his high profile activism.

Which is not to say reporters are wrong to paint Bennett as something other than a mainstream figure.

But of course the GOP isn't a mainstream party. And its primary electorate is even further to the right than its leadership.

So no one really knows for sure how this will turn out.

Granted: Collins may beat Bennett in a rout. She certainly ought to given the size of her war chest, the disparity in campaign experience and the amount of time she's had to prepare for exactly this challenge.

But if she wipes the floor with him, it will likely be because she ran a smart campaign--painting herself as inevitable, discrediting Bennett via whispers, playing the Maine media like a fiddle--rather than because she's closer to Republican primary voters on the issues than he is.

Quote of the Day

Sen. Susan Collins, March 1997:

A classic approach incumbents use to scare off future opponents is to raise a lot of money early.