Angus King: I might caucus with GOP after the midterms

posted at 8:01 am on April 10, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

In order to take control of the US Senate, Republicans have to win six seats in the midterm elections.  Or is it five? That depends on one of the two Senators unaffiliated with either major party. Bernie Sanders, a professed socialist, may run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016, so a Sanders flip is unlikely in the extreme. But what about Maine’s Angus King? He caucuses with Democrats now, but he’s, er … mulling his options after opposing the Democratic pay-equity ploy:

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with the Democrats, will decide after the midterm elections whether to switch sides and join the Republicans.

He is leaving open the possibility of aligning himself with the GOP if control of the upper chamber changes hands.

“I’ll make my decision at the time based on what I think is best for Maine,” King told The Hill Wednesday after voting with Republicans to block the Paycheck Fairness Act, a measure at the center for the 2014 Democratic campaign agenda.

King’s remarks are a clear indication that congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle will have to woo the 70-year-old senator in order to recruit him to their side.

That would be quite a journey for King, who just this week offered to waterboard former VP Dick Cheney after the latter defended the Bush-era interrogation techniques. King has been firmly in Harry Reid’s camp since replacing Olympia Snowe fifteen months ago. He explained that to Maine voters (who had rejected both Republican and Democratic options in the race) on purely practical grounds. Without an affiliation to a caucus, King would have had no committee assignments at all, and it’s better to caucus with the majority to get more impact.

In other words, don’t expect King to vote in lockstep with the GOP if he switches. And it’s not entirely clear that Senate Republicans will want him unless they absolutely need him. King backs ObamaCare, for instance, and voted in favor of Reid’s nuclear option on the filibuster last year. He also wants federal legislation to limit firearms magazines to 10 rounds, but does not support an assault-weapons ban. King filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. Govtrack’s analysis of his voting record puts him on the moderate side of the Democratic caucus, about equivalent with Mark Pryor and Tim Kaine, but slightly more liberal than the most liberal Republican — his colleague Susan Collins.

Don’t expect the GOP to woo him much, in other words, unless they really need him — and they will only really need him if they pick up exactly five seats. Six and they don’t need him to take control; four and he can’t help anyway, unless they can convince Joe Manchin to flip, and they might try him first at five, too. Manchin’s voting record is closer to the GOP than King’s, and the trend in his home state might make him more reliable, too. King will flip to the GOP if they win a majority to any extent, thanks the pragmatism that has him in Reid’s caucus now.


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I call BS.

rhombus on April 10, 2014 at 8:04 AM

Just when we thought we got rid of Olympia Snowe Job….

Steve Eggleston on April 10, 2014 at 8:05 AM

King backs ObamaCare, for instance, and voted in favor of Reid’s nuclear option on the filibuster last year. He also wants federal legislation to limit firearms magazines to 10 rounds, but does not support an assault-weapons ban. King filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Just remember that a couple weeks ago on the Sunday chat factory, King went full schoolmarm and lectured that it wasn’t Obamacare since folks were purchasing health insurance through Anthem, BCBS, or whatever.

Happy Nomad on April 10, 2014 at 8:13 AM

I call BS.

rhombus on April 10, 2014 at 8:04 AM

I call slow news day.

Happy Nomad on April 10, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Why not? He can’t be worse than some of the so-called Republicans currently in the Senate caucus. BTW, is that Angus King in the photo or Ted Turner?

Doughboy on April 10, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Translation…

Don’t investigate me cuz I didn’t know nothin’

workingclass artist on April 10, 2014 at 8:19 AM

As a Mainer, I can tell you that a good portion view Angus King as an embarrassment. He calls himself an “Independent” but that’s only because he hasn’t formally joined the Democrat party. His voting record while a 2-term Governor of Maine puts him squarely in the leftist camp.

In fact, while Governor, King sheparded and signed a law supporting state subsidies for wind power. After he left office, he founded a wind power company to take advantage of all the little perks in the law he signed. Made out like a bandit, him.

The best thing that can happen is for the GOP to pick up 6 seats and hold onto the House. King is a viper and not one whit trustworthy.

Sadly, candidates like Snowe, King, Collins, Pingree, etc, will continue to gain election because the left has a stranglehold on the media in Maine. Chellie Pingree’s husband owns the largest newspaper group in the state and their editorials and general reporting are always supportive of whatever Chellie wants. Same with the ABC/NBC/CBS affiliates. They take their cue from the unions and the leftists. As a result, it’s difficult for the average Mainer to learn about conservative candidates and platforms, to get honest, objective reporting.

Unless and until some conservative group with enough money can form a new media group and/or buy our the Portland Press Herald, Conservatives will continue to have an uphill battle in Maine.

TKindred on April 10, 2014 at 8:20 AM

In other words, don’t expect King to vote in lockstep with the GOP if he switches. And it’s not entirely clear that Senate Republicans will want him unless they absolutely need him. King backs ObamaCare, for instance, and voted in favor of Reid’s nuclear option on the filibuster last year. He also wants federal legislation to limit firearms magazines to 10 rounds, but does not support an assault-weapons ban. King filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Translation: he’s a Democrat making an empty threat.

Stoic Patriot on April 10, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Duh. We know what the lady gentleman is. Now, it’s just time to agree on a price.

Resist We Much on April 10, 2014 at 8:22 AM

The two doctors who received the largest Medicare reimbursements just happen to be large Democratic donors trying to defend themselves from charges that they made fraudulent Medicare claims. Our old pals Dr. Melgen and Sen. Menendez make appearances. Oh, and the only reason we know it is because the Wall Street Journal sued after HHS rejected its FOIA requests…”

http://ace.mu.nu

DNC cronyism…and King doesn’t want to be caught up in it?

workingclass artist on April 10, 2014 at 8:25 AM

The Senate GOP only cares about being in the majority and having the leadership/committee chair roles. Actual governing as a conseravtive majority is not really a priority. So whatever…

HornHiAceDeuce on April 10, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Sounds to me like having Angus on our side would be akin to adding that uncoordinated, scrawny little kid with glasses to the team to play right field on our sand lot baseball team. He made 9 players, but we all hoped the ball never got hit his way and we knew he was a rally killer when it was his turn to bat…

bimmcorp on April 10, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Bernie Sanders, a professed socialist, may run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016

At least Bernie is up front and truthful about what he is.

The Dems would have us believe that socialists are a very, very rare breed in the US. And they, of course, are not socialists. They are “progressives”, or “liberals”, or whatever. They are anything but socialists.

Oddly, Europe is awash in socialists and many of them even proudly wear the tag. Yet in the US they are almost nowhere to be found.

It is only coincidental that the Dem Party in the US loves how the socialists in Europe run things over there, and wants the US to be transformed into something just like that.

My conclusion is that US socialists are major league liars.

farsighted on April 10, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Resist We Much on April 10, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Bwahahahahahaha…snort..snort…

bimmcorp on April 10, 2014 at 8:29 AM

This would pretty much be the Jim Jeffords/Lincoln Chaffee/Arlen Spector situation all over again if the Senate’s a 50-48-2 split, where King ends up making the Seante Republicans compromise whatever conservative principles they have (OK, I know for some GOP Senators that’s an oxymoron) in order to keep the Maine Senator from going back to the Democratic side.

The Republicans would be better off long term, just letting the Democrats keep control and have Sheriff Joe cast tie-breaking votes than make a deal like that going into the 2016 election cycle.

jon1979 on April 10, 2014 at 8:31 AM

With leaders like Angus King, who needs followers?

Tom McLaughlin on April 10, 2014 at 8:34 AM

They can flip Manchin and Heitkamp before they’d need ol’ Angus. To heck with him.

Mr. D on April 10, 2014 at 8:35 AM

This party is diluted enough. There is absolutely no room for Obamacare supporters.

crrr6 on April 10, 2014 at 8:38 AM

Do not have high hopes on winning the Senate… First it is very difficult and second it is not really the most important thing in 2014 elections.. The most important thing is to keep the House and the Republicans are highly favored to do so…
The current demographics and congressional gerry mandering favor the Republicans in the House as the vast majority of districts are made of majority of whites and in many cases vast majority of whites and majority of whites vote Republican… However on a state wide election (President, Senate, etc…) the demographics starts to favor the democrats in at least half of the states as the minority vote and in particular black vote which is voting democrat at 95% rate is added to the total vote… The Republicans will be lucky if they net 4 Senate seats in 2012, the realistic scenario is 2 to 3 seats gain for them… It will be a miracle if they win the Senate…

mnjg on April 10, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Angus is a cockroach.

tim c on April 10, 2014 at 8:40 AM

The Republicans will be lucky if they net 4 Senate seats in 2012, the realistic scenario is 2 to 3 seats gain for them

2012* should be 2014…

mnjg on April 10, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Angus is a cockroach.

tim c on April 10, 2014 at 8:40 AM

I thought he was a minority cow…

bimmcorp on April 10, 2014 at 8:43 AM

How about an arlen specter/angus king ticket?

crash72 on April 10, 2014 at 8:43 AM

King backs ObamaCare, for instance, and voted in favor of Reid’s nuclear option on the filibuster last year. He also wants federal legislation to limit firearms magazines to 10 rounds, but does not support an assault-weapons ban. King filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. Govtrack’s analysis of his voting record puts him on the moderate side of the Democratic caucus, about equivalent with Mark Pryor and Tim Kaine, but slightly more liberal than the most liberal Republican — his colleague Susan Collins.

Pew poll says this is a central issue for midterms…

“More than 80 percent of people in a new poll say the healthcare law will be an important factor in determining their vote in the midterm elections.

A USA Today-Pew Research survey released Thursday found 54 percent call the law “very important” in determining their vote….”

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/203166-poll-healthcare-law-very-important-in-midterms#ixzz2yUGR3y59

Then there’s this…She (stuck on stupid and whining about it) still supports Obamacare

“Obama Supporter Finds First 96 Doctors She Contacted Wouldn’t Accept Her New Obamacare Insurance…”

http://weaselzippers.us/182248-obama-supporter-finds-first-96-doctors-she-contacted-wouldnt-accept-her-new-obamacare-insurance/

workingclass artist on April 10, 2014 at 8:50 AM

TKindred on April 10, 2014 at 8:20 AM

I used to live in Portland. You are quite right in your analysis of the Maine political climate. The one saving grace is LePage.

celtic warrior on April 10, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Pretty much proves that a socialist finds the Republican party a welcoming place to be.
The party needs to move right, very far right from where it is.

astonerii on April 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM

More likely McCain will become a democrat and start voting the party line.

GaltBlvnAtty on April 10, 2014 at 9:05 AM

70 years old? The Senate is a bunch of fossils on both sides of the aisle.

monalisa on April 10, 2014 at 9:05 AM

NO. NO. NO. A THOUSAND TIMES NO!

We don’t need another Olympia Snowe in drag.

Cleombrotus on April 10, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Translation: Come on Teabaggers, you don’t need that 6th seat. Let Mary win. I’ll caucus with you.

Oh. Wait. Just kidding.

kevinkristy on April 10, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Ghost of Arlen Specter? No thanks.

dominigan on April 10, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Can the GOP refuse to let him caucus with them? I’d love to see that kind of all-about-himself opportunist slapped like that, wouldn’t you?

Who the F*CK would give a guy who’s only on your side because that’s where the power is, committee assignment ONE?

Dirty Creature on April 10, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Who the F*CK would give a guy who’s only on your side because that’s where the power is, committee assignment ONE?

Dirty Creature on April 10, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Someone else who wants power to be able to assign committees.
Kind of like the vote and the Republican party.

Who does the Republican party serve? Think about the policies they have factually instituted and not the ones they sometimes come around promising but never delivering on. Who do they serve?

Why do they serve them as opposed to someone else?

astonerii on April 10, 2014 at 9:28 AM

It is good to know this, though, as most people thought “Angus King” was a limited time offer at Burger King.

Mr. D on April 10, 2014 at 9:28 AM

What’s up with New England’s penchant for senators who either jump from party to party or refuse to be labeled with the 2 parties? You’re nothing special, dearhearts, so pick a side and quit trying to look above-it-all.

thebrokenrattle on April 10, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Narcissist.

kcewa on April 10, 2014 at 9:29 AM

King of the Weasels.

vnvet on April 10, 2014 at 9:30 AM

do not ever trust his guy, ever.
the idiots up here who voted him in need a come to jesus moment…

dmacleo on April 10, 2014 at 9:35 AM

TKindred on April 10, 2014 at 8:20 AM

what he said :)
seems taxpayers may have to cover some crap from his windfarms now too.
nice know there are other mainiacs here :)

dmacleo on April 10, 2014 at 9:37 AM

If the Democrats had any common sense, they wouldn’t let him caucus with them either. He wants to be “independent”, then be independent.

blammm on April 10, 2014 at 9:38 AM

More likely McCain will become a democrat and start voting the party line.

GaltBlvnAtty on April 10, 2014 at 9:05 AM

EXACTLY!!!

Resist We Much on April 10, 2014 at 9:44 AM

The man is a clown.

Lonetown on April 10, 2014 at 9:48 AM

The man is a clown.
Lonetown on April 10, 2014 at 9:48 AM

No. Clowns are sometimes funny. He’s a sleazy power hungry narcissist. They are dangerous.

Cleombrotus on April 10, 2014 at 9:57 AM

Win it outright, and kick these @ssholes to the curb.

Win and make these kind of guys suffer, they make me sick.

Either you stand by your principles or you don’t. What he is waiting for is to see who has the power, than he whores himself out to that party.

right2bright on April 10, 2014 at 9:58 AM

In other words, don’t expect King to vote in lockstep with the GOP if he switches.

So, he’ll be another McCain, Cornyn, Graham, et. al?

Grammar Nazi on April 10, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Just what we need, another opportunist with zero conviction.

Vote this guy the hell out of office.

Oxymoron on April 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM

He must need some favors and is trying to get Harry Reid’s attention.

supernova on April 10, 2014 at 10:26 AM

“I’ll make my decision at the time based on what I think is best for Maine,”

Hahaha!

That’s so cute.

anuts on April 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM

King’s the drunk at the club that realizes he’s not dancing with anyone during the last dance:

King gave Republicans some political cover Wednesday, when he voted with them to block the high-profile pay equity bill. Democratic leaders had pressured Senate Republican centrists for days to vote with them, but ultimately, King was the only lawmaker to break ranks.

blammm on April 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Less than a RINO.

And, we already have too many of those already.

If he tries to get into the caucus, lock the door.

trigon on April 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Hey, at least he is an “Independent”, isn’t that another word for opportunist?

Cindy Munford on April 10, 2014 at 10:47 AM

“I’ll make my decision at the time based on what I think is best for Maine,” King told The Hill Wednesday

…in other words…he’ll be a political whore…just like the ladies!

Just when we thought we got rid of Olympia Snowe Job….

Steve Eggleston on April 10, 2014 at 8:05 AM

….he’ll continue Olympia’s political blow jobs!

KOOLAID2 on April 10, 2014 at 11:01 AM

This is a joke, right..?

d1carter on April 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM

King is famous in Maine for hemming and hawing and then coming down squarely on both sides of an issue before voting with the Democrats. He is best regarded as entertainment.

PersonFromPorlock on April 10, 2014 at 12:50 PM