Sunday, May 26, 2013
By Bill Nemitz email@example.com
(Continued from page 1)
AIRING IT OUT
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Which segues smoothly to King's second reason.
During a recent visit to Maine in which he endorsed King, fiscal reformer Erskine Bowles likened him to "a bridge ... who can go between the two parties" on, for starters, the looming showdown over the federal debt ceiling.
"If I identified now as a Democrat, for example, I would lose that ability," King said. "I'd be just another guy on the other team."
Which, for all practical purposes, he already is.
Turn on your TV any time between now and Election Day and you'll see a near-constant barrage of ads lambasting King as the worst thing that could ever happen to Maine and the nation. All of the attacks, and the estimated $1.7 million that fuels them, are coming from Republicans.
And these are the guys he might nuzzle up to come November?
"I'm human and I have to take cognizance of what they're doing and the manner in which they're doing it," King conceded. "They're certainly not making it any easier for me."
That said, King noted, at least a few senators remain on each side of the aisle "who are willing to put the country first and who aren't straight-down-the-line partisans."
Also there in the middle would be King, palms outstretched in each direction, forging a bipartisan coalition that (fast forward six years) saves the Senate and all of America from death by political gridlock.
It's a tantalizing prospect -- and if King truly thinks he can pull it off, good luck to him.
But as we calculate his chances, let's all remember that there are two scenarios under which Maine's former two-term governor might prove his political mettle on the national stage.
In one -- still front and center in King's imagination -- he descends on Washington on Nov. 7 with a firm grip on the nation's levers of power.
In the other -- far more likely and, alas, far less dramatic -- he's holding only his suitcase.
Columnist Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at: