Olympia Snowe Retiring

February 29, 2012 by staff 

Olympia Snowe Retiring, “An atmosphere of polarization” has led Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe to retire. A rare moderate Republican, Snowe often sided with Democrats on key issues, including abortion rights and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Her departure after 33 years in Washington almost guarantees the party divide will grow in years to come.

“As I have long said, what motivates me is producing results for those who have entrusted me to be their voice and their champion,” she explained. “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. 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, which is what a fourth term would entail,” said Snowe in her statement, a statement that clearly caught Republican leadership off guard.

“Yeah, I was actually. And disappointed,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell when asked if he was surprised by Snowe’s retirement.

The move now puts added pressure on Republicans to find a viable candidate before the March 15 primary filing deadline. If they don’t, the Republican nominee will likely be right wing Tea Party activist Scott D’Amboise, who is struggling in both polls and fundraising, and the GOP will remain the underdog in taking control of the Senate.

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