Last week, the announcement of the discovery by a joint European research group of the Higgs boson – nicknamed the “God particle” – excited Maine leaders of all persuasions. Some were concerned with the presidential race, some with the choice of a replacement for Olympia Snowe, Maine’s favorite daughter. And some were simply figures of public hilarity eager to share their thoughts

Senate hopeful Angus King, the independent, said he was equally supportive of wind turbines and trees, and averred that his favorite ice cream was chocolate because it was more or less organic. He promised to caucus with the best party in Washington, and only smiled at a corporate lobbyist who criticized his budget-balancing ability. He hoped the boson discovery would mean a world that doesn’t have either political parties or Donald Trump.

Senate hopeful Cynthia Dill, the Democrat, felt this discovery was due in large part to the strength of labor unions in Europe. She praised the tolerance of European same-sex marriage and called for support of the gay marriage proposal in Maine this fall. She also noted that if the Large Hadron Collider (where the discovery was made) had been acquired by Bain Capital, it would have been “downsized, loaded with debt, placed in bankruptcy, and sold for scrap.”

Senate hopeful Charlie Summers, the Republican, called for the privatization of sub-atomic research, saying, “Science is something that can be handled much more efficiently by the free market.” He thought that auctioning off the rights to the Higgs boson would “create American jobs.” He added that he hoped the boson would make it easier for candidates to hold several jobs while campaigning.

The chairman of the Maine Republican Party wondered if the boson could be trusted – after all, it was discovered in Europe, “which everyone knows is socialistic.” He said the reason the U.S. fell behind in discovery is voting by college students and other undesirables.

The chairman of the Maine Democratic Party offered a prepared statement: “The Higgs boson is the only manifestation of an invisible force field that permeates space and imbues elementary particles with mass – and as such may convince the Legislature to increase aid to people living within seven- ninths of the federal poverty line.” Also that Gov. Paul LePage should be spanked for his bad, bad language.

The mayor of Portland called for more aid to the waterfront.

The University of Maine established a new department of Subatomic Syllogism to be headed by Selma Botman, who will also retain her salaries as a former University of Southern Maine president and as director of the recently created Aroostook Potato Trade Study. The chancellor said that the extra salaries were part of Maine’s commitment to equality for women.

The Christian Civic League criticized the claim that God was the owner of the particle. If it was God’s particle and he wanted man to have it, he would have given it to Adam and Eve, plus the fact that there is no proof that such a particle is not really gay – it may want to marry Barney Frank. The league chairman added: “America’s failure to take the lead in subatomic particle research was because of a conspiracy between Obama and his radical Islamic relatives.”

A spokesman for Willard Romney said that his boss called for an American effort to beat the Europeans, but he did not favor spending any money to do so – only the need to think harder and to eliminate all regulations on business and hedge funds. He denied that Mr. Romney thought that Higgs boson sounded like someone who might be a good running mate.

The White House said Mr. Obama insisted that his administration had conducted twice as much scientific research as both Bushes. He also planned to call a meeting of his close advisers.

The mayor of Biddeford hoped the discovery would be useful in reducing the smell of garbage.

Under questioning, LePage said it was all a bunch of crap and when a reporter noted that the boson was discovered in Switzerland, LePage called him a Portland bum.

The chairman of the Gorham Town Council sighed and hoped the council could discuss the discovery peacefully at the next meeting.

Thought for the week

A new Gallup poll found that overall, 46 percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years. Respondents in Mississippi didn’t understand the question.

Rodney Quinn, a former Maine secretary of state, lives in Westbrook. He can be reached at [email protected]