When Susan Collins first ran for the United States Senate in 1996, she said during a televised debate:

“I do support term limits and I have pledged that if I’m elected, I will only serve two terms, regardless of whether a term limits law or constitutional amendment passes or not. Twelve years is long enough to be in public service, make a contribution and then come home and let someone else take your place.”

Speaking at the Maine Republican Convention in 1996, Collins proclaimed that “history shows we are not a party with a negative message.” Contradicting herself in that same speech and foreshadowing Donald Trump-style politics, Collins rhetorically asked her audience, “And who will we face in the fall? None other than Joe Brennan, the Energizer Bunny. Joe just keeps running and running and running … in election after election.”

In 1996, Collins was 43 years old and spoke of a “new generation of leadership.” Joe Brennan, a former two-term governor, U.S. representative and state attorney general, was 61. In 2020, Collins will be 68 and will have served in the Senate for 24 years, not to mention 12 years on the staff of Sen. Bill Cohen. It’s interesting to note that Collins’ years in the Senate far exceed the historical average tenure of those who have served in that body, as well as the average tenure of the lifetime appointees to the United States Supreme Court.

In the event that Sen. Collins is still not ready to come home and let someone else take her place, don’t be fooled. A vote for Collins is also a vote to keep Mitch McConnell’s grip on the U.S. Senate. Ask yourself: What has he done for Maine, let alone the country?

Neal Allen


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