Republican Senator Susan Collins has long been a moderate who has only voted with her party when she felt it was in the right, and she hasn’t hesitated to break from her party when she’s felt it appropriate. She’s come into the national spotlight during the Donald Trump era because she’s the one Republican who’s been the most willing to stand against his policies from the start. On Friday, she took what might be her biggest stand against him to date.
Susan Collins has long wanted to run for Governor of Maine. The job will come open in 2018, and incumbent Republican Paul LePage can’t run again due to term limits, so the position will be wide open. Collins would be a good fit for Governor, and she’d probably win. The trouble: she’d have to vacate her Senate seat before being sworn in as Governor, which would allow LePage to appoint a new Senator on his way out the door. LePage is a corrupt extremist lunatic who would fill the seat with a fellow lunatic. For that matter, he might even appoint himself to the Senate.
Not only would this leave the people of Maine with a disastrous unelected Senator they can’t get rid of until 2020, it would also hand Donald Trump the swing vote he needs in the Senate. Trump would immediately be able to move forward with the various horrific legislation that Susan Collins has been helping to block. Collins seemed to take all of that into consideration on Friday morning when she announced that she will not be running for Governor in 2018 after all. This also opens up an opportunity for Democrats.
Because Susan Collins is remaining in the Senate, it means the Republican Party just lost its most viable candidate for Governor of Maine in 2018. When you factor in the nationwide pushback against Donald Trump’s extremism that should help the Democratic Party in every 2018 race, this means the Democrats now have a realistic chance to win that race.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report