I’ve been incubating a thought about the interview with Mike Michaud that appeared in the Portland Press Herald on Dec. 24 (“Mike Michaud reflects on loss, strategy, Eliot Cutler”).

The incubation ended when a letter to the editor (“Michaud’s cooperation with Cutler should spark alarm,” Dec. 29) indicated alarm, surprise and disappointment that two politicians would cooperate to defeat a third politician.

I hadn’t been as focused on that point, but it seems to me that Michaud’s account of the meeting reflects normal and expected political behavior. My attention, however, was drawn to one word – “spoiler.”

Will we ever give up the concept that spoiling occurred? I believe that Michaud lost because he simply wasn’t a strong candidate, not because of Eliot Cutler. In a sense, what happened this time is the same as what happened in 2010 – the Democrats didn’t have a strong candidate.

In a strict sense, Cutler is not a politician as are Michaud and Paul LePage. Cutler’s resume doesn’t reflect elected office, yet his breadth and depth of experience in business and government reflect a person whose service in government is truly needed.

If it is true that the Democratic Party approached Cutler to be their candidate, his not accepting it is a further indication of the importance of being independent. And, what’s more, I suspect he might describe his meeting with Michaud a little differently than Michaud does.

The Democratic Party missed again, and regardless of a supposed agreement between Michaud and Cutler regarding LePage, the party alone is responsible for the outcome of the governor’s race, and more critically, the state of Maine missed again the opportunity to have an extremely well-qualified person leading us.

Mark Schwartz

South Portland