Olympia Snowe, Tea Partier?

posted at 1:36 pm on May 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Say, what has happened to Olympia Snowe lately?  The Senator from Maine has spent years cementing her reputation as one of the few moderates left in either party willing to cross the aisle to cut deals.  In the last two years, though, Politico notices a lot more party-line votes from Snowe amid rumors of a feud with Harry Reid.  Is she voting with James Inhofe on environmental legislation out of spite, fear — or common sense?

Snowe has been voting far more along Republican party lines as she faces the possibility of a tea party challenger in her 2012 Republican primary, making her a much less willing partner for Democrats in search of a Republican deal maker. Democrats also are targeting her seat in 2012, so Reid has less incentive to give her bipartisan cover.

Senators in both parties are starting to talk about the spat.

“I don’t think it’s smart,” South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 4 in Senate GOP leadership, told POLITICO, referring to the way Reid dealt with Snowe. “I don’t know if I get why of all people that you would want to hope you can appeal to in the future — Olympia would be someone like that.”

But according to Democrats, Snowe has lurched to the right and abandoned her moderate leanings. She surprised environmental activists earlier this year when she voted with Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to block environmental regulations on greenhouse gases. And she sided last month with just nine Republicans on a resolution by tea party favorite Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) criticizing President Barack Obama’s policy on Libya.

Vote rankings this year show that she’s siding with her party 20 percent more often than she did in the previous Congress, meaning she has voted nine times out of 10 with a majority of her conference.

The “spat” apparently started with the ObamaCare bill, from which Reid excluded Snowe along with most of the other Republicans in the Senate.  Snowe had provided a key vote for Reid on the Porkulus bill despite Reid and Nancy Pelosi locking Republicans from drafting that bill as well.  Snowe’s voting record has tilted much more towards the GOP since then, which is why Politico speculates that Snowe is voting rightward out of spite with Reid — which has made Reid’s life a lot tougher in the past two years.

Of course, Snowe also faces a Tea Party challenge in next year’s primary for her re-election campaign.  After seeing the damage the Tea Party did to Republicans who vote like Democrats in office, Snowe may understandably want to provide herself some cover by aligning herself with people like Inhofe, especially on energy and environmental policy.  The change in her voting record appears to predate the enormous increase in enthusiasm among Tea Party activists, though, so that may be more of a secondary issue.

Politico leaves out a third possibility, though.  Snowe may want to pursue moderate approaches to policy, but this administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress over the last several years seems determined to push through radical expansions of federal power instead.  When even a well-known moderate has little choice but to resort to party-line votes, the problem may not be the moderate, but the radicals on the other side.

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She will say and do whatever she thinks she needs to do to get votes and money to get re-elected, then back to the same old same old for this old gal! I do not trust her one bit!
L

letget on May 9, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I know Tea Partiers.

Olympia Snow? She’s no Tea Partier.

catmman on May 9, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Just one half of the Dingbat Twins.

Ward Cleaver on May 9, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Give her a cape……..and a staff and she could be a character in “The Lord of the Rings”.

Very scary……looks and politics!

PappyD61 on May 9, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Olympia knows that in 2012 she may find herself on the committee to determime which toilet tissue should be used in the halls of congress after the tea party takes over.

RINO is too kind of a term that means

Rehensible Insolent Notorious Obama-ite.

Don L on May 9, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Just keep voting like you are, Olympia. Harry’s a big meanie. Also, he’s not very good at predicting the outcomes of wars.

MikeknaJ on May 9, 2011 at 1:43 PM

As long as she keeps voting to keep the Marxists at bay I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

darwin on May 9, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Olympia Snowe, Tea Partier?

Ian Paisley, Catholic?

Blaise on May 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned;
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”
~William Congreve

davidk on May 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

I think it’s a case of seeing that she’s being taken for granted by the Dems.

As a result, she’s playing hard to get so that she knows she can get what she wants out of them to cut a deal rather than them thinking she’ll roll over for a pat on the head.

teke184 on May 9, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Or just needs to win, again.

Schadenfreude on May 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Paging Slublog…

Bee on May 9, 2011 at 1:49 PM

+1 ward

cmsinaz on May 9, 2011 at 1:49 PM

I’m not sure what’s worse. Voting to spite Harry Reid or voting like a RINO.

This isn’t high school where you vote against your BFF’s ex on the student council. This is real life. The idea that any politician votes one way or another simply because she has a beef with another politician is disgusting.

angryed on May 9, 2011 at 1:49 PM

That’s one of the major problems with these cement headed politicians- they vote their whims and emotions rather than what is best for the Americam people.

rjoco1 on May 9, 2011 at 1:50 PM

If it weren’t for Olympia’s vote in the Finance committee, ObamaCare would not have gotten out of committee, at least when it did. And the rest as they say is history.

txmomof6 on May 9, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Politico leaves out a third possibility, though. Snowe may want to pursue moderate approaches to policy, but this administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress over the last several years seems determined to push through radical expansions of federal power instead. When even a well-known moderate has little choice but to resort to party-line votes, the problem may not be the moderate, but the radicals on the other side.

This.

SouthernGent on May 9, 2011 at 1:50 PM

The Senator from Maine has spent years cementing her reputation as one of the few moderates liberals left in either party willing to cross the aisle stab their own party in the back to cut deals.

FIFY

rmgraha on May 9, 2011 at 1:51 PM

hahahahahahahahahaha….

Olympia Snowe a Tea-Partier….Ed, you are a funny guy. *wipes tear*

tencole on May 9, 2011 at 1:51 PM

The third possibility wins it.

I would imagine that Reid locking her out has to do with that, he wanted a far-left Obamacare and knew Republican votes would drag it down from the grand vision, it was hard enough to get Nelson on board.

Her vote for Rand Paul’s resolution might not be motivated by her being a far-right candidate, but by her belief in the institution of the Senate, a deal-breaking Senator wants to keep the deal-breaking alive instead of throwing powers to the President.

amazingmets on May 9, 2011 at 1:55 PM

If it weren’t for Olympia’s vote in the Finance committee, ObamaCare would not have gotten out of committee, at least when it did. And the rest as they say is history.

txmomof6 on May 9, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Yes. It’s utterly naive to think any change in voting has anything to do with a real change in her way of thinking.

INC on May 9, 2011 at 1:56 PM

When even a well-known moderate has little choice but to resort to party-line votes, the problem may not be the moderate, but the radicals on the other side.

Moderate? She’s no moderate, she’s a progressive in Republican clothing. Ok, maybe not one of the most extreme progressives, but a progressive none the less. Above all, tho’, she is a politician who wants to stay in office.

cartooner on May 9, 2011 at 1:56 PM

I think Maine is winnable with Snowe knocked out in the primary, and she senses it.

Saltysam on May 9, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Being two years late to the Tea Party crosses the normal boundary of being “fashionably late,” I’d say.

Mr. D on May 9, 2011 at 1:59 PM

At some level, Snowe is doing a good thing being a moderate. We don’t need every politician to be at the crazy extremes and out of control policy gyrations as the voters shift one party to the next. The center should hold. The real story here is that Reid is such an intolerant a**hole that he couldn’t work with Olympia Snowe. It does more good to point this out to Democrats than denouncing Snowe as a RINO.

thuja on May 9, 2011 at 1:59 PM

The Senator from Maine has spent years cementing her reputation as one of the few moderates left in either party willing to cross the aisle to cut deals.

Yeah. You know, we really need more like her.

I mean, it’s not as though compromising with the left for 100 years has done any harm at all. /

UltimateBob on May 9, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Completely nothing to do with the topic, but slap some Vulcan ears on Olympia, and she’s T’Pau’s sister.

Just sayin’.

44Magnum on May 9, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Too late Snowe, time for you TO GO!

GarandFan on May 9, 2011 at 2:01 PM

She is just voting to establishment her creds for the upcoming Maine primary.

sharrukin on May 9, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Hey, if Tokyo Rove can claim routinely on Faux News to be a tea party guy, and not be challenged on it, why can’t Oly Snowe make the same claim?

james23 on May 9, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Caught In Bin Laden Hideout Video

http://conservativeblogscentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/mahmoud-ahmadinejad-caught-in-bin-laden.html

Nearly Nobody on May 9, 2011 at 2:03 PM

At some level, Snowe is doing a good thing being a moderate. We don’t need every politician to be at the crazy extremes and out of control policy gyrations as the voters shift one party to the next. The center should hold.

thuja on May 9, 2011 at 1:59 PM

So, resisting government takeover of our healthcare system, being employer-friendly and wanting to do something about $14 trillion of government debt are extreme views?

OK….. got it. Thanks for setting me straight.

UltimateBob on May 9, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Paging Slublog…
Bee on May 9, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Heh. I don’t think this is about the primary – she knows her constituency and could easily win as an independent if she lost the primary. This is about Reid’s incompetence as Majority Leader. His relentless, mindless partisanship has poisoned the well.

Slublog on May 9, 2011 at 2:09 PM

If it weren’t for Olympia’s vote in the Finance committee, ObamaCare would not have gotten out of committee, at least when it did. And the rest as they say is history.

txmomof6 on May 9, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Beat me to it. This can’t be repeated enough.

Dominion on May 9, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Pay no mind to what she does from now until the election – past performance is who she really is.

Screw her.

RedNewEnglander on May 9, 2011 at 2:11 PM

This is the only place to put it, sorry for the threadjack.
http://www.tmz.com/2011/05/09/aaron-schock-abs-mens-health-today-show-shirtless-congressman-video/

Apologetic California on May 9, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Is she voting with James Inhofe on environmental legislation out of spite, fear — or common sense?

Absolutely no way it’s common sense.

Snowe, like all people with a squishy core, is ruled by how she FEELS about things. She’d be voting her typical lib line if she wasn’t pissy at Ratface Reid.

Remember when McCain got the red ass with GWB and tried to jam him up almost every chance he got? Same thing.

Our country is in the hands of petulant adolescents.

CantCureStupid on May 9, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Debating whether Snowe is a liberal or RINO is a complete waste of time. She is not a conservative, nuff said.

volsense on May 9, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Of course, Snowe also faces a Tea Party challenge in next year’s primary for her re-election campaign. After seeing the damage the Tea Party did to Republicans who vote like Democrats in office, Snowe may understandably want to provide herself some cover by aligning herself with people like Inhofe, especially on energy and environmental policy.

We find out over time, there is no, or very few selfless people on Capital Hill. Country doesn’t come first, but career does. *sigh*

capejasmine on May 9, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Maine called, they are missing a moose.

Wade on May 9, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Give her a chance. Anyone can change and become more conservative just because it’s the right thing to do. Look at McCain last summer.

a capella on May 9, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Bah, She’s just like McCain. She’ll pretend to be conservative up to the election and then vote for every liberal wet dream thereafter for about 4 years until her next election cycle.

Monkeytoe on May 9, 2011 at 2:46 PM

She is representing a State that has gone lemming Democrat to wildly Republican, and her number is up. Her and Collins have been Republicrats for several terms. Snowe is trying to save her power and her job, and both her and Collins need to go.

Hening on May 9, 2011 at 3:04 PM

I wouldn’t trust her as far as I can throw a boulder.

sadatoni on May 9, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Yeah, you know, someone who votes based on a set of principles and core beliefs. Yep. Someone who votes based on their conscience. That’s what RINOs do. And they want all of us Conservatives to set aside ours because they say their POV is solid and far sounder than ours.

Pfft. This is what Moderate, Centrist, RINOism is all about. You vote out of SPITE. You vote based on POLLING DATA. You vote based on COMPETITION. NEVER, EVER, EVER SHOULD YOU VOTE BASED ON PRINCIPLES OR A SOLID BELIEF SYSTEM! That just makes you a RADICAL EXTREMIST. Or worse yet, SOMEONE WHO VOTES FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE IS THE BEST FOR THEIR COUNTRY.

Sultry Beauty on May 9, 2011 at 3:15 PM

. The change in her voting record appears to predate the enormous increase in enthusiasm among Tea Party activists, though, so that may be more of a secondary issue.

I dunno….the Goth Queen of NutTown watches the poles pretty closely…..and the writing was already on the wall….no? She’s a loon….but she’s a professional pol.

Tim_CA on May 9, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Maine called, they are missing a moose.

Wade on May 9, 2011 at 2:38 PM

snort

Tim_CA on May 9, 2011 at 3:19 PM

It’s time to replace snowe, even if it’s with a Democrat.

bw222 on May 9, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Olympia Snowe, Tea Partier?

Anyone who would utter that phrase in a serious tone needs to have their mouth washed out with soap!

mizflame98 on May 9, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Oh and BTW….welcome home Ed!

Tim_CA on May 9, 2011 at 3:30 PM

>>Olympia Snowe, Tea Partier?<<

About as likely as Obama being a staunch conservative

JustJP on May 9, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Typical POS politician.

JustJP on May 9, 2011 at 3:36 PM

RINO trying to erase stripes

Take her out.

tarpon on May 9, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Olympia Snowe, red-shirted Vulcan on the USS Enterprise?

Or is that just me?

hawksruleva on May 9, 2011 at 3:59 PM


Olympia Snowe, Tea Partier?

I haven’t even read the article, just the asking of the question is the best joke and laugh I’ve had in at least a month!

RJL on May 9, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Olympia Snowe, Tea Partier?

If she is, she’s only there to get close enough to stab us in the back at an opportune time to support liberal policies.

RJL on May 9, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Run away far and fast from this enemy of the common, working man. Olympia Snow my a&&!

frizzbee on May 9, 2011 at 4:27 PM

If it weren’t for Olympia’s vote in the Finance committee, ObamaCare would not have gotten out of committee, at least when it did. And the rest as they say is history.

txmomof6 on May 9, 2011 at 1:50 PM

This!

brtex on May 9, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Blaise on May 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Heh, bullseye. Dr. Paisley would have laughed long and loud at that one.

Freelancer on May 9, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Give her a chance. Anyone can change and become more conservative just because it’s the right thing to do. Look at McCain last summer.

a capella on May 9, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Are you friggin nutz? Change to get a vote.. we live with nut case RINO for 6 more yrs…. NOPE!

Wade on May 9, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Arlen Specter may have taught her a thing or two before he left Congress.

Roy Rogers on May 9, 2011 at 5:06 PM

she’s just pissed that they are tied for last in the “best lookin senator contest”… she really is hopin to beat him to the bottom at somethin before they both dry up and blow away…
-

RalphyBoy on May 9, 2011 at 5:17 PM

She’s worse than an actual Democrat because she gives R cover to progressive policies.

Nelsen on May 9, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Only an idiot would believe Snowe is changing. But….then there were those who voted McCain back in.

texanpride on May 9, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Would she vote against that crazy judge they just allowed cloture on?

Cindy Munford on May 9, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Snowe sees the writing on the wall. If she doesn’t at least give the appearance of doing what the majority of voters want, she will get the boot come next election. Expect her to go back to her democrat as usual form once any re-election is over. Just got to string the suckers along just long enough to keep her fat a$$ re-elected

Niteowl45 on May 9, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Snowe is trying to show her color as a Republican.

But show her true color is what she has done.

madmonkphotog on May 9, 2011 at 7:18 PM

that Snowe is voting rightward out of spite with Reid

So, not due to principle…

Gohawgs on May 9, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Melt. Just…melt already.

Coronagold on May 10, 2011 at 8:45 AM