The biggest Maine-related news yesterday was the announcement from Sen. Olympia Snowe that she will vote for financial regulations reform, adding her name to the short list of Republicans, including her Maine colleague Susan Collins and Mass. Sen. Scott Brown, to support the bill. Now that financial reform is nearly a done deal, and both health care reform and the less-often mentioned student aid reform have all been passed under the Obama administration, the question is this: How does the President, facing an all-time low confidence rating, translate these legislative victories to victories at the polls in November? Just wait for the comparisons to FDR to start rolling off the presses …
The Maine Democratic Party has once again challenged Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage to rebuke the Maine GOP’s controversial new Tea Party-based political platform. This press release tries to remind Mainers that Pine Tree State GOP officially supports the abolition of the Department of Education, the opting-out of United Nations Treaties, and more. In tying LePage to this platform, which he has never outright rejected, the Dems hope to continue painting LePage as “too extreme for Maine,” (their words).
Not to be outdone, Paul LePage is attempting to frame the debate as well. In an e-mail to supporters today, the Waterville mayor had this to say about the race:
“Libby Mitchell is spending literally hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to defeat us. Cutler has spent over a half million trying to convince voters he is not the liberal Democrat he has always been. National groups are coming in to defeat us.”
In three sentences, LePage manages to paint Mitchell as a tax-and-spend liberal through her use of clean election funds; lump Cutler in with the Democrats, thus countering the popular image of him as “middle of the road”; and paints himself as the underdog, despite a Rasmussen poll that puts him in the lead, 43-36. (Note the use of the ever-vague “National groups” boogieman.)
Coming up … Maine Democratic Party’s Coordinate Campaign will open their Bangor office at 5 p.m. Thursday. Libby Mitchell and other candidates will be there. // “Barefoot Contessa,” of the Food Network (I’m not kidding), will headline a series of fundraisers for Eliot Cutler in Portland. She and Cutler used to work together in the Carter administration (I’m still not kidding). // President Barack Obama will be on Mount Desert Island this weekend. D.S. MacLeod and yours truly will be on the island talking to locals and trying to catch a glimpse of the most powerful man in the world — hopefully in his golf shorts.