Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer: Charlie Hall, moderates as three of the candidates running for the Senate, Cynthia Dill, Angus King and Charlie Summers debate at Eggs and Issues at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland on Tuesday, October 9, 2012. Here, Angus King responds to a question.
The Associated Press
PORTLAND — Washington political reporter Bob Woodward says the independent label should work to newly elected Angus King's benefit when he becomes Maine's newest U.S. senator.
The former two-term governor was elected Tuesday to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe, who didn't run because of what she calls political gridlock in Washington.
In a phone interview Thursday, Woodward said King won't carry a swing vote in the Senate, but being an independent "enhances his leverage."
He says King continues Maine's long tradition of independent senators. Although Snowe, Sen. Susan Collins and former Sen. William Cohen are Republicans, Woodward says they've all acted like independents.
Woodward will be in Waterville on Sunday to receive Colby College's Elijah Parish Lovejoy journalism award. He'll be back next Thursday to speak at the University of Southern Maine.