Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe will not seek reelection in 2012, she announced Tuesday.It's amusing that Snowe would snark about the "partisanship" in DC while playing the consummate partisan in her retirement announcement. Snowe, who is pro-choice, has previously expressed her frustration that her party continues to focus on reproductive rights at the expense of economic issues. She's clearly disgusted with her party's legislative assault on women et. al., but instead of pointedly calling them out for driving her out of the party, she hedges it with a vague reference to partisanship, even while passive-aggressively underlining she is not retiring for reasons of illness or fatigue.
In announcing her plans, Snowe, 65, emphasized that she is in good health and was prepared for the campaign ahead. But she said she was swayed by the increasing polarization in Washington.
"Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term," Snowe said in a statement. "So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail."
Snowe's retirement represents a major setback for the GOP's efforts to regain a majority in the Senate. As a moderate Republican, she may be the party's only hope to hold a seat in the strongly blue state.
And, well, that pretty much sums up Snowe's legacy in the Senate. Principled positions on lots of things, without the conviction to prioritize those principles above party loyalty.
P.S. If the Democratic leadership does not run a woman to replace her, they are even stupider than I imagine.