Earlier this month, Maine’s bombastic Gov. Paul LePage attacked the state’s senior U.S. senator, a member of his own party, saying “her goose was cooked” for failing to support President-elect Donald Trump during the campaign.
In an opinion piece published earlier this fall in the New York Times and in the Mount Desert Islander, Sen. Collins explained to her constituents that she could not support either major party candidate for president.
According to LePage, Collins “is done in Maine” for taking that position. He then made a groundless accusation that Collins was jockeying for a position in the Hillary Clinton administration.
What LePage apparently failed to remember before making those statements is that Maine has a proud tradition of sending independent-minded and thoughtful representatives to Washington. Such names as Margaret Chase Smith, Edmund Muskie, William Cohen, Olympia Snowe and George Mitchell are among them. Without question, current Sens. Angus King and Collins have continued that proud tradition of judicious, intelligent and compassionate service.
In politics, the only true measure of popularity that counts is actual election results. In that regard, Collins would appear to be at no risk of becoming an overdone political entree. LePage was elected twice with less than 50 percent of the vote – both contests being three-way races. By comparison, Collins won her most recent run for reelection with nearly 70 percent of the vote.
In response to LePage’s comment that “Collins is done in Maine,” her spokesman Annie Clark responded “[Collins’] goose not only hasn’t been cooked, it hasn’t even been plucked yet.”
“In fact, her goose is alive and healthy and looking forward to many more years of service to Maine,” Clark told the Portland Press Herald.
We are confident that’s exactly how the people of Maine feel as well.
As thoughts turn away from the election and towards Thanksgiving, what matters more in the long run may not be which politician’s goose may or may not be cooked, but rather which one comes off looking like a bit of a turkey.
We wager a vast majority of Maine voters will have no trouble figuring that one out all on their own.