See Ya: Senator Olympia Snowe announces retirement

Posted by: ST on February 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Via CNN:

Washington (CNN) — Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine announced Tuesday she will retire rather than seek re-election this year.

The decision was made “after an extraordinary amount of reflection and consideration,” she said in a statement.

Snowe, who turned 65 last week, was first elected to the U.S. House in 1978 and then to the Senate in 1994. She is the first woman to serve in both chambers of a state legislature and the U.S. Congress.

Snowe was known as a moderate who sometimes sided with Democrats in the increasingly partisan environment of Washington politics.

Her statement cited the partisan divide.

“I have no doubt I would have won re-election,” Snowe said, describing her political service in Maine and Washington as “an indescribable honor and immeasurable privilege.”

While her motivation and sense of responsibility remain, she continued, “I do find it frustrating, however, that an atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions.”

“Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,” Snowe said. “So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate.”

Initial reaction from Senate colleagues indicated Snowe’s decision was unexpected.

“I am absolutely devastated to learn that Olympia has decided not to seek re-election,” said a statement by fellow Maine Sen. Susan Collins, also a moderate Republican.

“I know this was an incredibly difficult decision for Olympia,” said Collins, who lauded Snowe as “a leader who sought solutions, not political advantage.”

Here’s Senator Snowe’s statement on her retirement.

A question has been floated around on Twitter as to who Collins will team up with now that her moderate pal Snowe is retiring after this term – the answer is easy: Whoever the Democrat is who eventually will replace her.

I didn’t think we had a chance in you-know-where that we’d pick up the Senate this year, and Snowe’s retirement makes the likelihood of that happening even more remote.  And while on one hand it’s good to have around even a moderate Republican like Snowe for most procedural votes, it’s important to remember that even the procedural vote pluses are canceled out when colossal errors in judgement – like her decision to vote ObamaCare out of committee (video hat tip: Dr. Melissa Clouthier), which set it up for eventual passage – become all too common.

As Michelle Malkin says here: “DLTDHYOTWO!” Indeed.

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15 Responses to “See Ya: Senator Olympia Snowe announces retirement”


  1. Sefton says:

    So long, RINO. See if you can take Collins with you.

    BTW, Brian Williams actually made the statement “This is bad news for the GOP” when closing out his remark on this tonight.

  2. Carlos says:

    This would be good news except for two things. First, it leaves open a Republican seat, thereby making a Republican majority that much less likely.

    Second, the putzes that elected her in the first place will probably find some other snake under a rock that calls him/herself Republican and get him/her into office, thereby making Obhammud’s job just that much easier should the Republican establishment be too stupid (a real possibility) to take advantage of every issue the jackasses have handed them on silver platters over the last six years.

    How many times in the last six years has Snowe voted with the Republicans? A dozen, maybe? Can’t say that I’ll miss her heart-wrenching public soul-searching before she automatically votes the Democrap way. And she didn’t even hold out for a sweetheart deal like Nelson got! At least she could have done THAT for the ignoramuses that thought they were voting Republican.

  3. MarkJ says:

    Let Olympia Snowe’s insufferable self-aggrandizing bloviation on voting ObamaCare out of the Senate Finance Committee be her political epitaph:

    When history calls, history calls. . . . I happen to think the consequences of inaction dictate the urgency of Congress to take every opportunity … to solve the monumental issues of our time.

    Jesus on a tricycle, if anybody deserved to be put on history’s do-not-call list, it was Olympia Snowe.

  4. she must think this is going to be a bad year for liberals.

    as for the partianship, it will take decades to overcome the legacy of teddy kennedy.

  5. Phineas says:

    I’m not sure how bad this is for the Republicans’ chances to take over the Senate, but I’ve been more optimistic than ST about those. Current balance is 53 (D/I) – 47(r). So, four needed to take control becomes 5 with Snowe’s announcement. Looking at the list of Democrats retiring or “seeking reelection but vulnerable,” I think we have a good shot at 5-7. Not a sure thing, of course, but reasonable.

    As for Snowe herself, in mild defense of her I’ll point out that she voted with the R leadership 74% of the time (though, yes, she crossed the aisle at crucial times). She also was crucial in opposition to card check legislation, helping kill that bill. And, while she voted ObamaCare out of committee (and I wish she hadn’t) she was solid against it on the Senate floor forcing the Democrats to use the anti-constitutional “reconciliation” procedure to pass it, setting them up for the Great Shellacking of 2010. She deserves some credit for that.

    I’m wondering about the timing and suddenness of this announcement. She was a sure bet, was actively running, and was raising money. Her challengers were no real threat. So why now? Especially since it’s so close to the deadline for replacements to file to run. Retiring at this late date has made it very hard for others to qualify for the ballot.

    It’s odd, it is.

  6. EBL says:

    Losing the seat to a Democrat is not a win for us. We need the procedural vote. Yes she is an idiot. But let’s hope and pray a Republican can take this seat.

  7. Drew the Infidel says:

    @Sefton: I’m glad to know someone other than myself considers Juan Williams a “pratllemeister”.

  8. Ken66 says:

    RINO supreme. There’s nothing moderate about her. Maine will either elect someone just like her and her partner in crime Susan Collins and the Dems are assured of at least four extra votes – the two Main RINO’s and the two ‘Independents.’

    The voters, by the way, tend to elect someone just like themselves.

  9. Jim McDonald says:

    Perhaps she should take Maine with her and make it part of Canada.

  10. Liz says:

    Was it something we said? Dear Olympia, your humility, modesty and sacrifices these last 36 years was our loss!

  11. Carlos says:

    @Drew the Infidel: Sefton mentioned Brian WIlliwms specifically, but I have to agree that both Brian and Juan are “prattlemeisters.”

  12. Drew the Infidel says:

    Last time I post anything before my first cup of coffee.

  13. Carlos says:

    Used to be a beer made up around the state capitol of Washington. It was called “Olympia,” also.

    It wasn’t very good, either…