Increasingly, evidence points to Paul LePage being a closet good-government, reformist progressive.

He wants to unite the state, to rid our political environment of the toxic partisanship and bitter personal attacks that have plagued us. And he is smarter than those of us who have not seen his cunning.

Why else would he take on every interest in Augusta and make seemingly irrational statements that make friends of old opponents? He did it to make the Republicans and the Democrats in Augusta work together, pass a budget, agree on needed legislation.

They would not have done so without him. He is trying to unite all Mainers – and willing to sacrifice his own good name to gain that goal.

As a result of his calculated actions, Democrats and Republicans are working together in Augusta.

As a result of his actions, both parties are looking for spokesmen who talk of problem-solving and working across the aisle. Bitter partisanship in Augusta and throughout Maine is easing because of Paul LePage.

He must have done all of this on purpose – and we just have not seen it.

Either that or he really has gone over the edge, and it is time for him to leave office.

Sandy Maisel

Rome