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Olympia Snowe Retiring from Senate

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    The Huffington Post is reporting a statement from Republican Senator Olympia Snow of Maine that she'll not be seeking re-election in November:

    "After an extraordinary amount of reflection and consideration, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate.

    "After 33 years in the Congress this was not an easy decision. My husband and I are in good health. We have laid an exceptionally strong foundation for the campaign, and I have no doubt I would have won re-election. It has been an indescribable honor and immeasurable privilege to serve the people of Maine, first in both houses of Maine's legislature and later in both houses of Congress. To this day, I remain deeply passionate about public service, and I cherish the opportunity I have been given for nearly four decades to help improve the lives of my fellow Mainers."

    Senator Snowe is one of the few moderate Republican in the Senate. Will Democrats have a chance to replace her or will a more radical Republican get the nod?

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    Olympia Snowe wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post this morning: Olympia Snowe: Why I’m leaving the Senate

    I extract three of her paragraphs:

    The great challenge is to create a system that gives our elected officials reasons to look past their differences and find common ground if their initial party positions fail to garner sufficient support. In a politically diverse nation, only by finding that common ground can we achieve results for the common good. That is not happening today and, frankly, I do not see it happening in the near future.

    For change to occur, our leaders must understand that there is not only strength in compromise, courage in conciliation and honor in consensus-building — but also a political reward for following these tenets. That reward will be real only if the people demonstrate their desire for politicians to come together after the planks in their respective party platforms do not prevail.

    But whenever Americans have set our minds to tackling enormous problems, we have met with tremendous success. And I am convinced that, if the people of our nation raise their collective voices, we can effect a renewal of the art of legislating — and restore the luster of a Senate that still has the potential of achieving monumental solutions to our nation’s most urgent challenges. I look forward to helping the country raise those voices to support the Senate returning to its deserved status and stature — but from outside the institution.

    Her words sound a lot like President Obama's in his first three years. What people sometimes forget, Olympia Snowe has, more than any other Republican Senator, crossed the aisle to vote with the Democrats on important issues, and as a result she has paid the price for it with venomous accusations from the right wing that sees anything Obama as the "enemy." Democrats will miss her more than the Republicans.

    Republicans need more Olympia Snowes in Congress but instead they are doing the opposite...purging their party of anyone with more moderate views.