Saint Olympia is getting the full media treatment.
By providing the only Republican vote for Obamacare, she is being hailed as a courageous statesman (stateswoman?). Charlie Gibson interviewed her live on “World News.” She made the morning TV rounds, mapped strategy in the Situation Room, played Hardball. Dana Milbank’s tribute to her political skill (and gibes at her studied indecision) landed atop The Washington Post’s front page…
I don’t want to be too snarky here. Snowe is a diligent senator, she’s not a grandstander, and she was clearly struggling to do what she sees as the right thing. But Republican defectors tend to get good press, especially, as in this case, if they’re helping salvage a Democratic president’s top domestic priority.
Imagine the coverage a Democratic senator would have gotten by breaking with his party to help George Bush pass his Social Security plan. No one hailed Joe Lieberman (yes, he’s an independent, but he caucuses with the Dems) for turning against Obama on the Baucus bill.