Wednesday, December 11, 2013
A writer for Politico apparently caught Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, at the right moment and got the state's elder stateswoman to open up about her chilly relationship with the former staff member who wants her job.
As the Press Herald's Steve Mistler reported in April, Snowe has not commited any financial help to Republican nominee Charlie Summers despite a long relationship between the two and $2 million leftover in Snowe's campaign war chest. As Steve reported, the fallout is due to Summers not endorsing Snowe while she was facing a primary challenge from a Tea Party activist.
Politico caught up to Snowe after she missed a meeting last week between Summers and party leaders in Washington. Snowe said she had a prior engagement, but then opened up about the rift:
But asked if she would appear at any fundraisers for Summers this year, give him a donation or stump with him on the campaign trail, Snowe said matter of factly: “Not at this moment.”
When pressed for the reason, Snowe was equally as blunt: “He didn’t endorse me in my own primary.”
“He worked for me for [more than] six years, in addition to being SBA regional administrator, but he wasn’t able to endorse me during my primary.”
Summers' campaign manager, Lance Dutson, told Politico the problem was a miscommunication and that Summers has always supported Snowe.
Meanwhile, Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster said he is hoping to set up a meeting with Snowe to talk about it.
“He just didn’t handle it in the best way,” Webster said of Summers. “At some point, she will [come around]. I would be shocked if she didn’t help in any way she could.”
Open Season targets all of Maine's political wildlife, from Portland city government to the donkeys, elephants and independents stalking the Statehouse and U.S. Capitol.
John Richardson joined the Press Herald in 1990 after working as a reporter in New Jersey. He has covered a variety of beats, including marine issues, the environment and health care. He is now covering politics and focusing on Maine's U.S. Senate race.
John can be reached at 791-6324 or email@example.com
On Twitter: @jrichmaine
Colin Woodard has covered politics and elections for more than two decades, from Bosnia and Bucharest to Washington, D.C., Augusta, and Portland City Hall. He has written for a wide range of national and international publications and is the author of four books, including "American Nations," a history of North America's regional cultures. He joined the Portland Press Herald at the end of April and covers political finance and lobbying, among other things.
Colin can be reached at 791-6317 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Cover has covered Maine politics for 10 years and worked in Kansas, Ohio and Rhode Island as a reporter. This year, she is focusing on covering the same-sex marriage debate for MaineToday Media.
Susan can be reached at 621-5643 or email@example.com
Michael Shepherd joined MaineToday Media in May 2012 after graduating from the University of Maine in Orono, where he edited The Maine Campus, the student newspaper there. Until November he'll be writing the Truth Test, a recurring feature analyzing political statements and advertising.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or firstname.lastname@example.org