This page is unlike the rest of this website, insofar as it consciously reflects my personal views, rather than trying to neutrally represent Sen. Snowe to readers of the site. My hope is that, by explaining why I (being the person who founded this site) decided to support Olympia Snowe, you may agree with me, and join us on calling on Senator Snowe to seek the nomination.
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Although the first and most obvious reason that I support Sen. Snowe is that I agree with her views on a broad ambit of public policy, there are two other reasons that are no less important, and it’s those reasons that I want to discuss in this essay. In short, I am supporting Olympia Snowe because I believe that she is what the Republican Party needs and what America needs:
- First, Senator Snowe will demolish any nominee that can be fielded by the other party, winning the 2008 election with a huge majority that would cut across the “red/blue divide”;
- Second, Senator Snowe will return the Republican party to the center of politics, where polls have repeatedly shown the majority of Americans reside.
Allow me to elaborate on both of these points.
First, to my contention that Sen. Snowe will knock the opposition out of the park in the 2008 election. This belief can be stated, glibly, as follows: a pro-choice female Republican, who is strong on defense, moderate on social issues, who will reduce deficits and put America ahead of ideology in trade policy, will defeat any candidate that the Democrats can field in 2008, bringing a huge number of moderate voters into the GOP fold, and winning several “blue states” in the process. This, of course, is even assuming that the other party is in a serious condition to contest that election, a predicate which assumes that they are going to make a great deal of headway in the next four years – not something on which I’d like to place real money.
I greatly respect the unique gifts which, for example, Governor Sanford and Senator Frist bring to both the party, and to the institutions in which they serve – and I believe that, should the party nominate either of these men in 2008, that we will be victorious. However, can either Sen. Frist or Gov. Sanford unite America in the way that a candidate such as the one I described above would? I don’t believe so, and I further believe that we can have such a candidate – if Senator Olympia Snowe can be pursuaded to seek the Republican nomination for the Presidency in the 2008 GOP primary.
I feel that I must pause here for a second, and digress in order to recover those readers who are – as I, myself, am – prolife. In doing so, I will hopefully also cover an answer to the second contention that I raised above – that Sen. Snowe will return the Republican party to the center of politics – and a suggestion of why this is desirable for the party, even those who do not consider themselves moderates.
In short: Sen. Snowe will not contest the Presidency in the America that we see in 2005 – she would contest the Presidency in the America that exists in 2008, following four more years of President Bush’s stewardship of the country. There are important changes that will take place in the next “four more years”.
The story of the rise of the modern Republican party is well-documented in other places, and I won’t go over that ground again here (excellent treatment is given to this subject in Micklethwait & Wooldridge’s The Right Nation and America’s Right Turn); but let us agree that, following Barry Goldwater’s defeat in 1964, the Republican party has engaged in a long-term mission to transform the tone of public debate in America, moving past the the New Deal Consensus, to a new consensus much more in tune with conservative ideals. This project vested in stages: in the Contract with America, which took back the US House of Representatives in 1994, in the election of President Bush and his subsequent consolidation of power in the 2002 midterm elections, and finally, in the 2004 Presidential election, where the President confounded liberal expectations by expanding his 2000 voter base.
In 2008, the contenders for the nominations of both parties will contend in an America that is as different post-Bush as the America that President Reagan left us in 1988; it is my belief that the President will, ultimately, get his way on a broad range of issues: tort reform, tax reform, social security reform, Supreme Court appointments and many others. But despite his historic victory in 2004, and even though he will probably push through major sections of his agenda in the next four years, the President leads a deeply divided nation which is sometimes at odds with his views.
I am reminded of the words of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, in which that great godfather of our party told America that “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in”. Let us finish this divisive work of reforming the nation in these next four years – but the task having been accomplished, what will it profit us if we do not come back together as a nation?
What is needed, more than anything else in 2009, is for America to come back together as one nation, not the estranged red states and blue cities.
What is needed is a President who believes in bipartisan compromise and unity.
What is needed is a President who will bring us back together as one nation, under God, after years of division and radical change.
I am supporting Olympia Snowe because I believe that she can be that President.
In previous comments that I have made about Sen. Snowe’s electability, I have tended to brush past too quicly and too glibly something that we would rather not speak of: there is still a lingering uncertainty as to whether America will vote for a female President. I believe that circumstances can dictate the answer to that question, and I offer two points in answer.
Firstly, the reality is that sooner or later, someone is going to be the first female President of the United States; why not Olympia Snowe? Wouln’t it make a degree of sense that if anyone is going to be, it will be a moderate Republican (yes – I have to swallow pretty hard when I say this – a pro-choice Republican) who is a hawk on the budget and defense? In other words, I think that America can be ready for the RIGHT female President, and I think that Sen. Snowe could answer this point.
Secondly, there is still the issue of whether the Democrats might nominate Sen. Clinton; while I think that they would be maybe unwise to do so, it remains possible that they will, and I believe that while America is ready for the right female President, it is not likely to countenance a President Hillary Clinton. Sen. Clinton’s nomination by the other party, therefore, would virtually seal Sen. Snowe’s victory.
So, to sum up: Olympia Snowe offers America and the Republican party a strong and unique voice from the center of politics, a record of dedicated public service, and a compelling personal narrative of triumph, and the possibility of completing a realignment of American politics that will make the Republican party the natural party of government for more than a generation, by reuniting the country after nearly two decades of divisive change and partisan conflict. I support her wholeheartedly, and will work for the next four years to pursuade her to widen her constituency to take in not only Maine, but all residents of these fifty united States.