Thursday, Jul. 16, 2009

Olympia Snowe

Republican Senator from Maine

With a broad bipartisan compromise in the Senate on life support, the Democrats' best hope is to pick off symbolic Republican backing — which means, per usual, cue the gentle lady from the Pine Tree State. Snowe is under more pressure at home in Maine to make a deal than to stand up to the Big Government Democrats. And with a record of working with the other party and voting for President Obama's agenda, she is target numero uno for liberal interest groups and a White House seeking the label "bipartisan" for a final product that is increasingly unlikely to draw more than a few — if any — GOP votes in the House. Aware of how big a catch she would be, she's using that power to influence the final bill that emerges from the Senate, focusing on a deal that includes cost controls and fosters competition.