Wednesday May 02, 2012 | 11:14 AM

Sen. Olympia Snowe shared her thoughts on a variety of issues today after she was honored by the United Bikers of Maine at their annual Blaine House Tea.

She said President Obama still has not clearly laid out his long term plan for Afghanistan, despite his address to the nation last night.

"I think it still doesn't answer the question about how we come to terms with ending the insurgency without Pakistan," she said.

She said in some ways, things have gotten worse in Afghanistan since she visited shortly after the terrorist attacks. Americans need to know there's a plan to bring soldiers home, she said.

"I know (President Obama) has placed an end date of 2014, but in some ways that seems open ended," she said. "I don't think it can be open ended over the next decade."

Snowe was also asked about for Gov. Angus King's decision to run for her seat. Snowe announced earlier this year she would not seek re-election, which drew large primary fields from both parties, and King, into the race.

"I think what's most important is for people to decide who can best serve them and to represent them," she said. "Obviously I'm a Republican and I'll be supporting Republican candidates."

She said voters should ask King where he stands on issues and which side he'll caucus with and why.

Snowe, who is scheduled to speak Sunday at the GOP convention, said she's still writing her speech. She said she'll talk to fellow Republicans about issues she'd like them to focus on during the upcoming election cycle. And, she'll talk about leadership.

"The failure of leadership, frankly, as I've seen it in Washington," she said. "The source of my frustration is our inability and our failure to address the major issues of our time. This is a critical moment in the life of the nation and we're at a crossroads."

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
Eric can be reached at 791-6344 or
On Twitter: @pphericrussell

Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
Matt can be reached at 791-6303 or
On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or
On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME

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