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Olympia Snowe
Olympia Snowe official photo 2010.jpg
Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Preceded byJohn Kerry
Succeeded byJohn Kerry
United States Senator
from Maine
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byGeorge Mitchell
Succeeded byAngus King
First Lady of Maine
In role
February 24, 1989 – January 8, 1995
GovernorJohn McKernan
Preceded byConstance Brennan
Succeeded byMary Herman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1995
Preceded byBill Cohen
Succeeded byJohn Baldacci
Member of the Maine Senate
from the 12th district
In office
January 5, 1977 – January 3, 1979
Preceded byElmer Berry[1]
Succeeded byBarbara Trafton[2]
Personal details
Olympia Jean Bouchles

(1947-02-21) February 21, 1947 (age 72)
Augusta, Maine, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Peter Snowe (1969–1973)
John McKernan (1989–present)
EducationUniversity of Maine (BA)
WebsiteOfficial website

Olympia Jean Snowe (née Bouchles; born February 21, 1947) is an American businesswoman and politician who was a United States Senator from Maine from 1995 to 2013. Snowe, a member of the Republican Party, became widely known for her ability to influence the outcome of close votes, including whether to end filibusters.[3][4] In 2006, she was named one of America's Best Senators by Time Magazine.[5] Snowe was famously known for her ability to compromise and her strong sense of bipartisanship. Throughout her senate career, she was considered one of the most moderate members of the senate.[6]

On February 28, 2012, Snowe announced that she would not seek re-election in November 2012, and retired when her third term ended on January 3, 2013.[7] She cited hyper-partisanship leading to a dysfunctional Congress as the reason for her retirement from the Senate. Her seat went to former Governor Angus King, a former Democrat and current Independent.

Snowe is a senior fellow for the Bipartisan Policy Center and co-chairs its Commission on Political Reform.[8]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Crown Lecture in Ethics | Former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe
  • ✪ A conversation with Senator Olympia Snowe and Jason Grumet


(chime) - [Narrator] This is Duke University. - Hi, good evening everybody. I'm Kelly Brownell, the Dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy. Welcome to this Crown lecture in ethics, with our distinguished guest, Senator Olympia Snowe. The Crown lecture in ethics bring speakers to campus to discuss compelling ethical issues in the fields of art, science, medicine, business and social policy. The lecture series is made possible by a gift from Lester Crown and the Crown family who are longtime friends and supporters of Duke University. Previous Crown lectures reflect a broad range of ethical issues. In 2016, we welcomed Tyrone Hayes, UC Berkeley professor, who is known for his conclusions that a widely used herbicide may contribute to significant problem in both animals and humans. In the prior year, we heard from Pulitzer prize-winning playwright, Tony Kushner. Previous Crown lecturers also include Children's Defense Fund founder, Marian Wright Edelman, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, scientist and author, Jared Diamond. So why are we so interested in ethics? Terry Sanford founded this school with a deliberate emphasis on ethics, a conviction that rigorous analysis needs to be coupled with an abiding awareness that policy choice inevitably involves conflicts over values and that our community needs to understand and be thoughtful about trade-offs involved in such conflicts. Besides having an ethics course as a required part of our curriculum, we bring a wide variety of speakers to campus so further explore these topics and spark meaningful dialogue. We could not have found a more appropriate Crown lecturer for ethics than Senator Olympia Snowe and I will ask public policy professor Fritz Mayer to introduce her. Fritz teaches courses on political economy and public policy, globalization in governance, political analysis and leadership, and as the author most recently of a book called Narrative Politics. Fritz is also the director of POLIS, the Center for Political Leadership, Innovation and Service, our co-sponsor for tonight's lecture. This event is being recorded and will be posted to the Stanford YouTube Channel. We are also now live on Facebook. After Senator Snowe concludes her formal remarks, Fritz will come back to the stage and together they will go a bit deeper into some of the ethical challenges that Senator Snowe will have highlighted tonight. He will then open the floor to audience Q&A. There is a microphone on the ground floor and in the lobby floor, one flight above where we are now. Thank you and now here is Professor Fritz Mayer. Please join me in welcoming him. (audience clapping) - Good evening and welcome everyone. It is my honor and pleasure to introduce our speaker this evening, one of the most respected American political leaders of the last 40 years, former United States Senator for Maine, Olympia Snowe. Senator Snowe has a long and distinguished career in public service. In 1973, she was elected to the Maine House of Representatives, in 1976, to the Maine Senate, in 1978, to the US House of Representatives, and in 1994, to the United States Senate where she replaced George Mitchell and subsequently served three terms. I don't think she's ever had much of a challenge. She's won every election. As a woman so early in politics, it's not surprising that Senator Snowe has a series of firsts in her biography: first woman to have served in both Houses, at the state and at the national level, the youngest Republican woman to serve as a United States Representative, the first Republican woman on the Finance committee, the first woman to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee Seapower subcommittee which overseas the Marines and the Navy. Forbes Magazine ranked her as the 54th most powerful woman in the world. I love the precision of that. (audience laughing) Whatever the ranking, Senator Snowe was a powerful person in Washington, enormously respected on both sides of the aisle as a legislator willing to buck the majority in her party with a deep commitment to bipartisanship and a willingness to work across the aisle. Time Magazine said she was one of the 10 best senators in 2006, and then she did something surprising. After serving three terms, in 2012 Senator Snowe decided not to run for reelection. That's a surprise because she won with 74% of the vote I think in the prior election, so she would have easily, but why did she do that? I think she'll talk a bit about that tonight. But in her article, an article she wrote for the Washington Post explaining her decision, she described her deep frustration with the dysfunction of politics, particularly in the Senate, which was not living up to what the founding fathers envisioned. Given the dysfunction, she believed she could have greater impact out of office than in. Since then, she's been an author writing a book immediately after entitled Fighting for Common Ground, How We Can Fix the Stalemate in the Congress. She's been a speaker on the subject and is now a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center in DC where she chaired its political reform project. I can't think of anyone better who embodies the spirit of what the Crown lecture in ethics is about or what we're trying to accomplish with POLIS: the nobility of public service, the courage to stand for something, the humility to recognize that none of us have a monopoly on the truth and the wisdom to recognize that compromise is a sign of strength, not weakness. So please join me in welcoming Senator Olympia Snowe. (audience clapping) - (speaks off microphone) Thank you very much Fritz for gracious words of introduction. I'd say it leaves me speechless, but I don't wanna get anybody's hopes up. (chuckles) (audience laughing) No, truly I thank you, and I thank all of you for sending such a warm welcome to me here this evening, especially for your willingness to listen to a recovering politician. I never know what to expect from introductions. You can imagine over the years I've received numerous introductions. But for example, one time I well recall (clears throat) my former colleague, Maine Senior Senator Bill Cohen. When he announced his decision not to seek reelection to the United State Senate, shortly thereafter I was attending an event and the emcee introduced me by saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, "I'd like to introduce to you Olympia Snowe, "the next senior citizen from the state of Maine." (audience laughing) I said, "Well, that's true, "but do we have to announce it to everybody?" But it brings to mind the comments that were once made by Bishop Fulton Sheen that he made to an audience after he'd been introduced. He said, "To applaud as you just did at the "beginning of my speech is an act of faith, "if you applaud in the middle of my speech, "it's an act of hope, "and if you applaud at the end of my speech, "it's an act of charity." (audience laughing) So I thank you for your faith, hope and charity in being here this evening. But first, I do want to applaud Fritz Mayer for the superlative stewardship at the helm of the dee-ms of POLIS Center and all that he's doing to changing and enriching students lives. I had the opportunity to meet with his students this afternoon at Democracy Lab and I can assuredly say to you this evening that the future of our nation is in great hands. You're helping them to change and contribute to the world around them, and that's precisely what we need, so I thank you. I also want to commend Dean Brownell for his visionary leadership here as Dean of the Sanford Public Policy school for the last five years. I think the school has tremendously benefited by Kelly's tremendous expertise, depth of experience, highest levels of scholarship as you continue to enhance your reputation as one of the most preeminent public policy institutions in the entire country. When I think about your namesake, Senator Sanford, I was in the House who Representatives at the time which he served in the United States Senate where he established a standard of excellence that today's elected officials would do well to emulate. He understood the search for common ground was an essential component to serving the well-being of our communities, our nation, and indeed our democracy. I also wanna welcome, I'm delighted to acknowledge a fellow Mainer, Ambassador Patrick Duddy, whose hometown is in Bangor, my husband's hometown as a matter of fact, and I just wanna salute you for your distinguished tenure in foreign service and thank you for serving our country. Also, I do want to thank the Crown family and in particular Lester and Paula Crown without whom this evening would not be possible, but most importantly for their incredible generosity in their legendary civic engagement and leadership that is so important and particularly for the subject matter that we're here to discuss this evening. The core of the lecture series is on the critical issue of ethics and the decisions and choices that we make in our lives, large or small, which brings me to a Maine story, of course, which is a about a couple of tourists who decided to visit Maine and after they crossed the bridge from New Hampshire into Maine, they came to an intersection where there were two directional signs. One said Portland left and the other said Portland right. Obviously confused, they pulled over to the side of the road to seek clarification from an old Mainer who's standing on the corner. Pointing to the directional sign, the tourist asked him, "Does it matter which way we go to Portland?" The old Mainer thought for a moment, and then replied, "Not to me, it don't" (audience laughing) Well, it certainly doesn't matter which way we get to Portland, but when it comes to the ethics of public policy and the impact it has on the great people of this nation, it matters profoundly which road our elected officials decide to take. This evening I was asked to address the critical implications of the current political environment in Washington and the impact that it is having and how we can change Congress and what we can do about it and I was also asked to be inspirational. I said to Fritz, "Well, "inspiration and Congress usually "aren't in the same sentence," at least that's been the case for a very long time, unfortunately, and for good reason. In election after election, the American people have asked and sent an unmistakable message to those who are running for office and to those serve in office that they needed to jettison the status quo of gridlock and produce results. Indeed we've consistently asked members of Congress to understand how important it was for them to work together, to hit the giant reset button on governing and legislating and to turn the page in this unfortunate and regrettable chapter in our nation's political history, but what we have received, however, is sort of like the movie Groundhog Day that has spawned this fundamental anxiety across the American landscape that Washington is unable or incapable of transcending the perilous dysfunction that has then created a fundamental problem all across this country in the way in which we handle problems and it continues to plague the Congress and the presidency after I first spoke out on this failure when I decided not to seek reelection to the United States Senate. So frankly it shouldn't be of any surprise that this last election defied all predictions and convention and vast preponderance of forecasts because we had arrived at a tipping point where the disaffection and the alienation in the American people as a direct result of the vacuum of leadership by our elected officials had really affected and manifested itself in the extraordinary results of this last election. So rather than reversing the political tide, we find ourselves now in even more turbulent times and in even more uncharted waters. So I would like to address this evening how do we approach this current political environment and particularly I wanted to give my perspective based on four decades in serving in public office and in many of those years in which the process worked. I wasn't so sure at the beginning, at the outset of my legislative journey. Let me begin with my first day, in my first hour after I had been sworn in to the Maine State House of Representatives back in 1973 and please don't do the math. But when I was standing outside the House of Representatives chamber and pondering my future, taking it all in, I got a tap on the shoulder by the State Senate majority leader. He said, "Olympia, I know what you're thinking," and I said, "You do?" He said, "Yes, "you're looking around this chamber "wondering how you got here, "but I guarantee you in six months "you'll be looking around this chamber "wondering how everybody else got here." (audience laughing) Well, I have to admit, that question did arise in more than one occasion, (audience laughing) I have to say over the years, but more things change, more things stay the same. But in all seriousness, it was that foundational experience that I had in the state legislature that really informed my perspective, where politics and public service were positive and constructive endeavors, that once the campaigns were over, my colleagues and I would put our campaign and party labels behind us and set to work on agendas designed to improve the lives of the people we were privileged to represent. I also derived from that experience the essence and purpose of public service which was above all to solve problems, which stands in stark contrast today where it seems the campaigning never stops and the governing never begins. Now people ask me constantly, is it really that different today? Well they might as well be inquiring as to whether or not it snows in Maine in wintertime. It's as different as night from day, regrettably. That's why I'm so passionate about changing the tenor in the United States Congress because I've seen firsthand what can be accomplished when people of varying political philosophies and background are determined to solve a problem. It's from that perspective when I began my service in the House of Representatives. I was first elected in 1978 and my campaign plan was entitled Not Just One Of The Boys, and I wasn't. I would describe myself as minority within a minority within a minority, a moderate Republican Greek American woman from New England which you couldn't be more of an outlier than that. But I was so passionate about changing the tenor because I knew it hasn't always been this way and it doesn't have to be this way. When I arrived in the House of Representatives, it occurred to me and each of us as women that we have tremendous obligation, indeed responsibility to go bat for women because if we didn't who would? There were only 17 of us out of the 535 in the House and Senate. We were so severely underrepresented that we couldn't afford to draw partisan lines in the sand. So I joined the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues that had been formed in the prior Congress by a Democratic and Republican Congresswomen. I ultimately co-chaired it for 10 years with Democratic congresswoman Pat Schroeder of Colorado, but we focused on issues that were important to women and working families because the laws were working against women, did not reflect the dual roles they were playing both at home and in the workplace. There was a time in America that child-support enforcement was a woman's problem, wasn't a matter of the judiciary, a time in America when pensions would cancel without a spouse's notification. There was a time in America we didn't have family medical leave, and it took us seven long years to accomplish that goal. Then we discovered the clinical study trials that were funded by the federal taxpayer and conducted by the national institutes of health systematically excluded women from those trials and these were trials that could make the difference between life and death. So we came across a study that included 22,000 men that examined the use of aspirin to reduce cardiovascular disease and forgetting of course that heart attacks were the leading cause of death for women. So we asked them, "Well why wouldn't you include women "in these clinical study trials? They said, "Well women's reproductive system could "be endangered or affected by the research." I said, "Well that's not gonna change anytime soon, "so do you think a medical research could learn to "accommodate rather than treat it as a mere inconvenience?" But it was through adherence to bipartisanship and principle over politics, that together we could change all that. That same cooperative disposition existed when I arrived in the United States Senate in 1995. It was across party alliance where Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller and I co-wrote the E-Rate program when we were rewriting the Telecommunications Act for the first time since 1932. Our program would wire every classroom, school and library in America to the Internet and it had such an impact on the program that Technology & Learning Magazine ranked this initiative fourth in a list of innovations and initiatives that helped shape education technology for the past generation, along with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates's magnificent efforts, but I think it tells you the degree to which you can have an impact and effect by working across the political aisle. In fact that program became the largest technology program in the federal government. After the election of 2001, I co-chaired the Centrist Coalition in the United States Senate with Senator John Breaux of Louisiana as a Democrat. After that election, of course it was a Bush-Gore election. We had the Supreme Court decision that was handed down regarding the results of that election and we also have an evenly divided split in the United States Senate, a rare 50-50 division. So we decided to invite the majority and the minority leader to a meeting of the Centrist Coalition where a quarter of the Senate was present, evenly again divided between Democrats and Republicans because we wanted to send a message to them that bipartisanship was alive and well, in spite of the tensions that existed at that point in time and we wanted to be sure that our legislative agenda would not be derailed in this new session of Congress, and it wasn't. A few months later on a bipartisan basis, we enacted the largest tax cut since World War II to try to avoid a recession that was on the horizon and I worked the across the aisle with Blanche Lincoln, he was a Democratic senator from Arkansas, as members of the Senate Finance Committee and we increased the child tax credit and made it refundable for the first time ever. In fact that initiative created the largest tax cut for working Americans in more than two decades, benefiting 37 million families and 55 million children. The recently enacted measure on the tax reform that was passed by this Congress last November included an increase in that child tax credit, in effect preserved its refund-ability. Later in my Senate tenure, I worked with Senator Ted Kennedy in co-authoring the Genetic Nondiscrimination Act which was to prevent employers and insurers from dropping health insurance coverage or denying it based on genetic testing so that individuals would not forego these potentially life-saving tests. As we know, today, so many of the medical breakthroughs and treatment are predicated on targeting genetic defects. When that measure, we worked with our House counterpart, was enacted, it was described as the first Civil Rights Act of the 21st century. Just as an aside, Senator Kennedy was chair of the committee when the Democrats won the majority at that time and he was chair of the committee that considered the passage of this legislation. So traditionally, the chair of the committee gets to put his or her name first when the measure is passed out of their committee. In this instance, rather than it being made Kennedy-Snowe, Senator Kennedy made it Snowe-Kennedy, even though I was not a member of that committee, but that was the type of magnanimous gesture that existed and the collegiality and the collaboration in the United States Senate as ways in which members of the Senate would work across the aisle. So I cite these examples for a reason because it shows that the political process can work when elected officials and leaders are willing to come together. As somebody once said, "Bipartisanship is not a political theory. "It is a political necessity," and that is a truism that I have recognized over the years and why I was always prepared to be a legislative Lone Ranger if necessary in working across the aisle to create bipartisan solutions. Well there were some times I would give my Republican colleagues some heartburn, particularly as a member the Senate Finance Committee where we considered Social Security, Medicare, taxes, health care and trade to name a few, and sometimes I would be the deciding vote or the swing vote on some key measures. One day I happened to find myself in the Senate cloakroom, which is a room off the Senate floor, we can make calls or have conversations with your staff or your colleagues, and I was on the phone when Senator Grassley, who was a ranking member of the Finance Committee at that time approached me and he put out his hand and he opened up his hand and sitting in the palm of his hand were a pile of pills. He said, "Do you see these, Olympia?" I said, "Yes, I do." He said, "You're the reason I take them" and I said, "Well, I'm sorry Senator Grassley "I'm giving you so many headaches." But shortly thereafter, Senator Grassley was succeeded by Senator Hatch as ranking member of the Finance Committee and I crossed path with Senator Grassley one day and I said, "Chuck, by the way, what did you do with those pills?" He said, "I gave them to Orrin Hatch." (audience laughing) So (chuckles) in any event, it's examples of the bipartisan collaboration in recent years that have become as rare as solar eclipses or Haley's Comets for that matter and what we have witnessed was how policymaking as a matter of practice has virtually been abandoned for political leverage because it's devolved into a series of got-your-vote with all or nothing my-way-or-the-highway strategies. So rather than legislating, it's become all about messaging, messaging votes, messaging amendments, positions in every utterance, and not designed to create a solution, but rather to have maximum appeal to the ideological basis of the political party. So as a result, it's become all about the party. In the past, we've always had our differences. It wasn't a question of whether or not we had our differences or that there wasn't legitimacy in deeply held views, in fact that was to be expected and healthy in a democracy, but the difference between the past and now is that we were prepared to reconcile our differences for the greater good of the country. So it's not surprising that what we have seen as a net effect of this dysfunction is that the Congress has had the country lurch and the president from one self-engineered crisis to another. That's why when I travel across this country, people express to me the fear that this current dysfunction's gonna become part of a permanent culture and that's why it's an imperative that we do everything that we can to make sure that it remains an aberration and not the new norm. I think the lawmakers in Washington should heed the wisdom and the advice of the late Senator Everett Dirksen who was a key partner to President Johnson in securing Republican votes for the enactment of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. He said, "I live by my principles, "but one of my principles is flexibility, exactly," but unfortunately we haven't seen that reflected in policymaking over the years. Now I will recall the point in which I really became shocked in 2011 when we had the debt ceiling debacle and it took the 11th hour and six months before the Congress was prepared to take action, but it ultimately precipitated the first ever downgrade in our AAA credit rating that induced the highest level of policy uncertainty according to three economists of any event that had transpired in the previous 20 years. That surpasses impeachment, the Iraq and Afghanistan war, the catastrophic events of 9/11, and even the financial crisis of 2008. So I guess I can only imagine what their studies would reveal today. In fact, as you know, that there is a study that was done several years ago by several economist, a political scientist who indicated that we're at the highest levels of polarization since the end of reconstruction in 1879. They said that we are so far off the charts that we're at a point where we can't measure any further increases. Now, some people will say, "Well, you know there have been worse times in our history," and that's true. In the intervening years, we haven't had duels and canings to settle our disagreements, but is that the standard by which we wanna measure the United States Senate, for that matter the entire Congress and the 21st century? I would hope not because the American people have paid a steep price already for the inaction and the neglect on so many issues due to the abrogation of leadership because of their preference to run this country by delay, default, deferral, obfuscation, obstruction, and you name it. Issues have piled up in the Congressional inbox whether it's a burgeoning debt and deficits, failing to invest in our nation's infrastructure or looking at issues that could expand our economic growth which is so important because we're at a moment when the economic growth in this country is shortchanging American standard of living because it is paltry and subpar from our historical norm. As I said when I decided not to seek reelection into the United States Senate in 2012, I confronted the cold stark reality that the excessive polarization would not be diminished in the short term. So when I decided not to seek reelection, it wasn't that I was giving up the fight to the contrary, I'm a fighter, but I decided to take my fight in a different direction. After all, I attribute my fighting spirit to my Greek heritage, particularly on the Spartan side, not like the movie 300, but you get the idea, but I decided that I would take my work on the outside of the institution because I believe that we could no longer change it from within. After I left the Senate, I joined the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, which is the the only bipartisan organization in DC, I might add, and it was co-founded by four former Majority Leaders, two Democrats and two Republicans. I co-chair the Commission on Political Reform along with two other former leaders of the the United States Senate. There were 29 of us on the commission. We produced more than 60 recommendations on how to reform Congress, that's a lot of recommendations, but that's how many it requires to reform Congress these days and I'll focus on several in a minute. But the change could not come a moment too soon because I happen to think one of the most inexcusable and ethical failures of Congress has been the woeful inaction and neglect when it comes to passing measures that would rekindle the full-fledged economic growth that's indispensable to remedying the economic disparities that exist in America today and so crucial to securing opportunities for all Americans and not just some Americans. That was graphically illustrated by a recent poll, which found in their words, 43% of the American people who were raised at the bottom of the income level remain stuck there as adults and 70% never make it to the middle. Robert Samuelson wrote earlier this year "that economic growth gives people the sense they're "getting ahead and that they are in control of their lives, "that it is the social glue that holds us together. "But what," he asked, "if economic growth can no longer "perform that vital function? "What if the economy "is in a slow period of growth that "frustrates millions of Americans?" Well, when you think about it, isn't that precisely where we are today? So when you consider the ethical implications, how could we possibly allow the anemic economic expansion to continue to persist? It's no longer debatable that we need to stem Congress's inertia when it comes to this matter of profound importance that is undercutting the prosperity of millions and million of Americans as I think about the opportunities that could've been even in this Congress. For example, on the issue of tax reform, there was bipartisan opportunity in that regard. I mean after all you had President Trump extolling the virtues of expanded economic growth. The leaders in both sides indicated that the economic policies of the past failed to address the economic anxieties of the future. So why is it that they could not agree and focus like a laser systematically on those issues that are integral to a robust economy such as our debt and deficits, or infrastructure, or immigration reform, or education and job training. The Democrats and Republicans agreed on the necessity of overhauling our tax code since the last overhaul occurred three decades ago. I was in the House of Representatives at that time in 1986, and unbelievably, we not only adopted tax reform, but also immigration reform, both of which were signed into law by President Reagan weeks before the election of 1986, totally unimaginable in today's world, but we recognized that bipartisanship was crucial to creating long-term, durable, sustainable, credible policy as the best ideas are considered from both sides. So when you think about what could have been on revamping our tax code in this go around and what was adopted last fall, this could have been a key opportunity for both sides to come together. In fact, Senator George Mitchell and I and two former members of Congress wrote in a bipartisan basis an op-ed piece after the last election and said use regular order in the institution and you have the basis for bipartisan initiative. Make it your first order of legislative business in January 2017, sending the right message to the American people: We get it. We're gonna work together because those first months, the new Congress and with a new President is a critical window of opportunity to lay the groundwork for bipartisan initiatives and for getting things done for the country. After all, they both agreed on competitive corporate tax rate, an international tax reform and using that revenue, that bringing that revenue from the taxing offshore corporate profits at a lower tax rate and investing that in infrastructure, and then putting that in tandem with changing tax codes for lower and middle-income taxpayers. That would've been a win-win for the country and both sides would have had something vested in that legislation, but as we know the Republicans being the majority pushed through the $1.045 trillion tax package on a strictly party-line vote using a budgetary mechanism known as reconciliation to avert the 60 votes required in the United States Senate so they could adopt it on a majority vote, similar to the mechanism that the Democrats used in 2010 when they enacted the Affordable Care Act when they were in the majority. Because these measures rammed through on a strictly partisan basis after they are enacted, it's difficult to get the other side to cooperate to address the problems that arise in the drafting of this legislation. We saw that in the Affordable Care Act and now the Republicans are gonna be scrummed because the Republicans wouldn't assist the Democrats in addressing some of the problems that existed in that legislation and the Republicans now need to have Democrats cooperating on fixing the tax measure that was recently adopted by the Congress last November. The point of all this is is that when you contort the norms and the traditions of the United States Senate, you instigate a vicious cycle because today's majority becomes tomorrow's minority and vice versa and each employ the others tactics. In order to address any of our major issues without question is gonna require a sea change in the willingness of elected officials and the leadership in the present to embrace compromise and consensus building. The bottom line is they're two ships passing in the night, one in the Atlantic and one in the Pacific and separated light years philosophically on array of issues, not that it has to be so, but they make it so. So the million dollar question or perhaps I should say billions of dollars of questions is that how can we place Congress back on track? The simple truth is, we are a representative democracy and we get the government we demand. If we value value and reward bipartisanship, we will get it. It is important for all of us to make sure that we provide political reward at the ballot box for those who were willing to search for common ground and penalties for those who don't. That's where the Commission on Political Reform comes in. There's no magic wand, but there are a multiplicity of measures that we can undertake to make a difference. First, we call for the establishment of independent redistricting commissions because gerrymandering today contributes mightily to the hyperpolarization that exist in Congress. So we need to have reform of these congressional districts and we have a reapportionment that will occur in 2020. So having independent redistricting in place in all of these States would make a profound difference. Charlie Cook of Cook Political Report recently stated that there only 29 competitive or toss-up seat are the entire House of Representatives of 435. We also proposed having more open primaries for states to adopt. There various options for open primaries because they're playing such an outsize and disproportionate role, and so not only nominating but ultimately electing those who are currently serving in office. So much of what's happening in primaries today is that candidates are appealing to the hard-line ideological core of the political parties and so a broader swath of the population has to be brought in to vote in these political primaries. We even recommend setting a National Congressional Primary Day, have it one day in June, rather than having these congressional primaries scattered anywhere from January through September. So it'd be similar to a Super Tuesday in a presidential election. We also call for the disclosure of all political contributions which would include the dark money that is funneled in the so-called independent group that are funded by single-minded advocates who demand nothing less than unyielding adherence to their single point of view or ideology. estimated that these group expended $1.4 billion last year in the last election. That's not even including all the candidate expenditures. Compare that to 1990 where it was only $7.2 million. So shouldn't we be entitled to know who is underwriting these ads that are determining and influencing the outcome of these elections? Beyond electoral reforms, we propose things on a congressional basis that also can improve the legislating in Washington and that is to have a five-day work week. (chuckles) I know, it's a basic proposition, isn't it? But we suggest, they are three weeks in on a five-day basis and one week they can spend in their districts or their state. Unbelievably, today, they spend so few days in session. In fact, in the last year alone they spent I think 154 days in the House, 138 days in the House and 154 days in the United States Senate. Today that's to little time to get to know your colleague, to focus on the facts, to have inter-party dialogue, to negotiate your difference to forge legislation, so we think it's crucial. Today their legislative schedule is actually compressed into about two and a half day. Monday they come in for what is described as a bed check bow-uh and by Thursday, they smell jet fume and they're leaving town. We think that there should be joint party caucuses on a monthly basis. Again, I know in the United States Senate when we're in session, we would have lunches every day separately, Republicans have their lunches, Democrats would have theirs, strategizing how they're gonna defeat the other side, but it might be helpful for the greater good of the country to have the meeting on a joint basis to strategize how they can work together for the best interest of the country and too few bills are now shaped in committee and committees are the fertile ground for consensus building because that's where bipartisan alliances are formed 'cause it gives the opportunity for members of the Senate and in the House to weigh in on the legislation through the amendment process. Amendments are indispensable bridge builders 'cause both sides now can have a stake in the outcome and ensures greater likelihood of success. There's no one answer to all of this, but there are a number of things that can be addressed to minimize the kind of polarization that has incapacitated the process and the ability of our elected officials to come together in the best interest of this country. The bottom line message is this is that the voices of cooperation have to be louder than the voices of polarization and every American needs to understand that the tools for action are literally at their fingertips. We're in a social media world that can provide an online community instantaneously. It's easy to utilize. It's an effective message multiplier. We need to harness the power of technology just as those who fanned the flames of polarization and that is the creed that was embraced with fearlessness by thousands of young people who marched in Washington all across this country, galvanized in the face of horror that occurred in Parkland, Florida, and so many other places across this country to affect change, and they understand that you have to reject the status quo and to be resolved in your commitment to steer this country in a direction that's more secure for young people and for all people. What we can learn from them is to recognize and harness the power of our collective voices because that is precisely what is required of all of us if we are to affect the kind of change to restore the effectiveness and responsiveness of our governing institutions in those who serve in them. For those of you who are, today's students will be tomorrow's leader. I urge you to chart a course of compromise, consensus building and conciliation because there is no other way. In order to forge real solutions, you have to take the risk of working with each other instead of against each other. What it demands is a willingness to work and listen to those with whom you disagree, to respect differing viewpoints, and to accept the fact that you're not going to get 100% of what you want. People used to say to me, "Oh, support the President 100% of the time" or "support your party 100% of the time" and I said, "Well you know my husband and I don't even agree (audience laughing) "100% of the time," because in what sphere of life are you're going to agree 100% of the time? There is no sphere. It's an artificial limitation to achieving great results for this country. You have to accept the fact that you don't have monopoly in all the great ideas and it requires patience to work through your differences. Robert Frost once said that "universities are a refuge from hasty judgment." My hope is that this will not be your last refuge. Just consider the origins of our country. We had our founding fathers who were deeply opinionated, sharply divided. They argued about many matters, petty, inconsequential, but at the end of the day they devised the most ingenious governing document the world has ever known and it wasn't ratified because 55 men gathered in a room with identical viewpoint and they were there to rubberstamp their unanimous thinking. They were there because these visionaries understood and determine that the enormity and the gravity of their circumstances necessitated the courage to advance decision making through consensus, and hence the United States of America. That is the lifeblood and the heart and soul of who we are and that is the spirit that we must recapture so that we can return Congress to the problem-solving powerhouse it once was. Thank you. (audience clapping) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. - There we go. Well, see, you can be both talking about the dysfunction of Congress and be inspirational, so. - (mumbles) (chuckles) - That was absolutely inspirational. (audience clapping) - Thank you, thank you. - I served in the Senate working for Bill Bradley in another time, - Yes. - So it was wonderful to think about those. So the golden days, they weren't always perfect by any means. - No. - But the sea change that has taken place and it's exciting to hear about some of the positive things that you are talking about, some of the suggestions, some of which - Yeah. - We're working on here. I wanted to sort of explore a particular part of this. When you decided not to seek reelection - Yeah. - You wrote the piece in the Washington Post. You wrote, "For change to occur, "our leaders must understand that "there's not only strength in compromise, "courage in conciliation, "and honor in consensus building, "but also a political reward for following these tenants." - Yes. - "That reward would be real only "if the people demonstrate their desire politicians "to come together after the planks in their "respective party platforms do not prevail." You mentioned this as well, but I'm curious what you're take is six years on from that. It's not obvious that things have gotten better in that regard over time, but do you get a sense that some of these ideas are getting traction in the general public, that there is a possibility of political reward for the politicians who do these, who are bipartisan? - Yes. As I said, I travel across the country and I've given so many speeches and I've been on college campuses and talking to young people 'cause I wanna make sure they're invested in the future and they can make change because I can almost feel it for them, that we do have the power to change it. That's why I went in part. I think that it's certainly has I think well understood now, the depth of the polarization and how it's affecting the ability of elected officials to work in Washington for the benefit of all of us. One of things that really stunned me, and I mentioned it on the debt ceiling debacle, is one example of it because it was shocking to me because of the risk to the country and how it could imperil and jeopardize the economic well-being of the country and willing to take it to the 11th hour, to the last moment, to reconcile their differences. Then I began to realize that these divisions were not going to dissipate, that it was becoming more and more embedded into the political process, whereas before you always knew you could work on issues. You had people across the aisle that you could work with. There was a core balance in the Senate and even the House of Representatives where, that you could develop some consensus and solutions, but there was no longer impetus for solving those problems because people were concerned due to the polarization of getting primar-ied. I mean that is really what has exacerbated the problems in this country in the political system. So first you have to start with the political system. I think people come to realize what is occurring in these primaries. You only have 20% turnout in a midterm election. I hope that's not gonna be the case this time in these primaries, even 27% turn out in the presidential primary in the last election. So we have to get people to participate because the candidates and elected officials running for reelection, they're more worried about their primary than they are the general election. That's the truth of the matter. Just to understand to what degree this is really taken hold, in 1987, there were 57 senators who represented parties in states where their state voted for the presidential candidate of the opposing party. Today, they're only 15 senators in that category. So then it means 85% of the Senate do not have an incentive to work across the aisle because they're gonna get a primary. So that's what's dramatically changed and we have to change the orientation in the incentives and that's where the public comes in. One is yes changing some of the complexities on the redistricting in the House of Representatives, Absolutely. That needs to be done and states can do it. You can gather signatures, get it on the bah-lee. No one's pending here. Well, it's been frozen. I guess it's in the court. - What's difficult because we don't (mumbles) initiative in North Carolina - Right. - So it's a particular challenge which you have to get. But - The state legislature. - [Fritz] The state legislature has to - Right, yes. - [Fritz] All roads lead through the state legislature. - The legislature. I remember last time was in north camp. We were talking about that and so there's been a court decision that, it's frozen, yeah, that froze the decision. - Yes, that's correct. Yes, yeah. - (clears throat) The lower court. Well, the point is is that if you get enough of a critical mass to change, it can change the dynamics in the House of Representatives. As I was mentioning earlier to Fritz's class, there were blue-dog Democrats in the House of Representatives, but at one point just a few years ago they were 75, today they are 18. I know because members of the Bipartisan Policy Center were meeting with them last week, so they're only 18. So we have to change the composition through the redistricting, obviously having more open primaries, but making sure whatever primary you're in, to vote, but you also gotta demand the bipartisanship part and the willing to compromise. There are battles, intra-party battles right now between them, the moderate and liberal, the moderate and conservative element of the parties. That happened in Illinois last week, for example. There was a big battle, an intra-party battle. So that's the dynamic that has to change and that only can change with the public weighing in and in putting an incentive, changing the incentives, to not though who are political absolutes that are so prevalent today that really are driving a wedge between us and achieving actual results, but those who are willing to compromise. We can reward those people who are willing to take the risk to work across the aisle. So often when, as a moderate Republican, they want you to be working across the aisle and that's what you did, but I would say to my staff often times when they come back because when you're a moderate, whether on a Democratic side and Republican side, you could examine all parts of the issue. You have to do your homework because you gotta be sure if you're gonna step out there that you get it right. So I said, "This is exactly what all members "of the United States Senate, "all members of the House of Representatives "should be doing, "not just the group that's willing to compromise "because the other are just following a party line "and the straight and narrow ideological path." That's why we're in the position that we're in today. We need to elect more (mumbles) than people who are not just giving lip service to bipartisanship and compromise, but rather who are actually going to practice it. - Do you see signs in elections that have been happening or in the campaigns that are now starting to take form that candidates can actually run on this, that there's enough of a public appetite that the candidate might actually say, "I'm gonna pledge to be bipartisan. "I'm going to be different," and be rewarded for that? - Yes, I do. I do think that in a number of states that could work. I think in some states, obviously there are some districts they won't if they're solid red or solid blue, but I also think that most people and certainly ones that I have met across this country want their system of government to work because more than anything else, they're fearful that we no longer have a capacity to make decisions for the good of the country. So they're exploiting divisions rather than determining how you can unite the country. I always thought that my mission was to bring in as many people as I could to support an idea rather than figuring out I'm gonna use my idea to divide as many people as I can because it gets back to the wedge issues and that's really was a tool that really determined the driving this ideologically, the ideological approach towards running for office and for legislating. So I do, but I think the public has got to be there to back people up who are willing to say and to pledge that they will work across the political line. - Well, that's an optimistic note. I was struck earlier in a conversation with the students that often it's the people saying, "Well, there's this polarization, "it just happened in the electorate "and now the system is representing it," but it was interesting how you characterized it because it didn't just happen. So there were people using wedge issues. People-- - Right. - Exploiting that, it might be human nature, to drive wedges between people. The encouraging thing about that I suppose is that if leaders did that, they could also lead the other direction. - That's correct. They could. I think that (clears throat) more people are recognizing, and obviously we're seeing a follow-up from all of that obviously in Washington, is that what happens when you don't have that kind of willingness to work across the aisle or to come up with credible policy, not passing these mega-initiatives without doing due diligence and working through the issues and with rigor and factually-based (chuckles) and evidence-based in drafting. I know, doesn't that sound remarkable? It's sounds so quaint. - So quaint (chuckles). - I know, it does. It sounds so quaint. - Not at all. - But it wasn't that long ago, but it was all factually based and that was what I loved about public service is that figuring out a way to solve the problem and bringing people together 'cause that's how I think about serving in public office is about bring people together. You're not gonna get everybody to agree with you, but can you get them to trust you in the way you reached your de-siv and even if they don't agree with the final decision and that's the point. Many initiatives in the past were woven into the fabric of our country because they had strong bipartisan support. I mean think of the contrast. I mean, Social Security, Medicare, yeah, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, I mean that's the point. They're all ingrained in the fabric of our country because both sides had a stake in the outcome and that's really what makes the difference. Even in 1996, right before the election we passed a welfare reform, and so the third attempt that year and passed it, increased the minimum wage, and we had portability of health insurance. It all passed between I think June and November of that election year. I mean that's what can be done. It's not that it can't be done, it's that you have to have people in those positions willing to do it, and again, it's not contriving differences and driving that wedge between people in their government because that's what really what this is all about. So, unfortunately, you had the political tools that were used to create the polarization and to drive that polarization, but it was harmonized with the cable news, the social media, the 24 seven, the insatiable appetite for ratings and content and it was now about demonizing the other side. It's no longer about defeating your opponent. It is about destroying them. We're not talking about those outside groups that expended $1.4 billion. Most of those ads, probably 90% or more was found in one election were attack ads. It was about attacking the other side. It was not proposing positive solutions and saying good things and so that's essentially what it's become all about, so. - Let me ask you about something you didn't touch on. Another thing I think is a kind of hopeful or exciting trend which has to do with the very large number of women who are running for office now - Yeah. - So I mean I think you said there were only 17 women - Yes. - In the US Congress when you first arrived there and that number has grown somewhat over the years, but we're seeing this year in response to a lot of things happening in the world, some the President, the hashtag me too and other things, a lot of women are running for office. What difference does it make that there are more women in elected office? - It makes a big difference and more women need to be in the institution of Congress, now represent about 21%, about 111 women serving in the House and Senate. That is really (clears throat) tepid progress I might say. If you think about in our entire history only 327 women served out of 12,244, I may not be quite right on that number, but approximately in our entire history in the United States Congress. I always thought that the institution should be representative of the population as a whole and we need more voices, more women's voices sitting at the table. I can remember (clears throat) at one point when I was in the House of Representatives and there were more women elected and we were so excited because the whole notion would be that there would be a woman serving on every major committee so we would have a voice at the table because it makes a big difference. Women bring in different perspective, different set of experiences, and they're result-oriented, they're collaborative, wanna get things done. That's why we were able to form the Congressional Caucus of Women's Issue which happened actually the Congress before me with Elizabeth Holtzman and Margaret Heckler, but we could get things done inspire of the differences we have and so many other issues, but we formed that alliance and we were so productive in that regard. In the United States Senate, the women meet and still do on a monthly basis for dinner. We even wrote a book together when there were only nine of us in the Senate called Nine and Counting, and then it became 13 and counting and so forth, so they're up to 22 and counting, but we had monthly dinners and Barbara Mikulski would say, "No staff, no leaks, no memo," and there never was. At times we would invite the women Justices of the Supreme Court, and they in turn invited us to have dinner with them at the Supreme Court and it was very informal, casual, off the record, everything that was said there, did stay there, and we just talked about everything. It was a free-flowing discussion, but it was a way in which to remove the barriers and create an environment of trust that can help to build a collaborative relationship on issues down the road, which just stood in stark contrast to the environment overall in the Senate, regrettably, but that tradition continues to this day because it's a way of bonding and sharing. But I've always found that I would have a willing partner for working on issues even if we couldn't agree, but we'd always lend an ear or suggestions on how to make the legislation better or to move it forward to succeed. So those partnerships are very important, but for the country, it's in the country's interest to have more women involved in the political process at all levels of government. We need their voices. In fact, this year, between the House and Senate, according to the Eagleton Institute, the one of politics, Institute at Eagleton in New Jersey, they're 475 candidates as women who are running for office. So with the Me-Too movement, it has spurred women to run and that's important because you can affect change and make change. So we need to have them invested in this process. - Well, I agree. I love the emphasis on, not just for women, but as you were talking earlier about breaking bread with each other, talking with each other, getting to know each other, bonding, it's interesting to think about the extent to which these big structural changes we can make. But then there's just these personally connections that - Right. - It's sort of harder to demonize someone if you know them. - That's correct. Often times (clears throat), former elected officials who've served in the Senate or the House will describe those times when it was true where you were able to have dinner. I always did with colleagues across the aisle. A group of us go out to dinner, get to know each other, and even before that, so many had their families in Washington and they would get together on weekends and have an opportunity to get to know each other. In fact, at the Bipartisan Policy Center, we had an event last week honoring two senators, a Republican and an Independent who succeeded me in the Senate and a Republican congresswoman and a Democratic congressman for their bipartisanship. They talked about those things that matter materially in getting to know your colleagues and having the opportunity because now, really, their legislative schedules, as I said earlier, is compressed into two and half days a week. If you think about the legislative schedule, and I might add fundraising, that plays a huge role now in the amount of money they have to raise, so all combinations, they don't have time to get to know their colleagues. So they were talking about that. - It makes a difference. - It does make a difference. It's those issues, like the five-day work week. I mean it's basic, but it's true because you simply can't have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with your colleagues, who they are, what they stand for, what the issues are, and to work on issues of great consequences to this country when you're in session two and a half days at best and sometimes they stay up late. They ram through as they did with the omnibus bill they just passed. By the way, I just mentioned, just to tell you about why they need to be spending a little more time in Washington and that means going home now 'cause I believe in going home and I did every weekend, but they can do that after working five full days. But in this past budget they just passed, I mean the budget was supposed to be passed by October 1st of last year. They had pass five continuing resolutions to get to this point to pass the budget. - Yeah. - They haven't passed a major blueprint for spending and revenue seven of the last eight years. I mean that's why I believe in no budget, no pay. (chuckles) (audience laughing) - Well, as you can tell, I would gladly continue to monopolize the conversation here but we're gonna open up for questions. There's a microphone here on the floor and there's one above. So if you have a question, make your way to the microphone to ask your question and let me, well there's a handheld going as well, let me just ask one last question. Really, for the benefit I suppose of the students in the room. - Yeah. - At this moment, Duke students especially have so many options. There's so many things to, - Yes. - I tell them they have already won the lottery. (Olympia chuckling) But it's easy to look at public life and elected in politics and think, I don't want any part of that. I wanna go start a social enterprise. I wanna start an NGO. I wanna work. I wanna make a difference in some other way. Why should our students think about a public life? - Because it's gonna be so critical to the world they live in and medical science says they could possibly live up to the age of 120. So I ask young people, I say, "Well, how long do you wanna put up with it?" (audience laughing) (chuckles) (Fritz chuckles) They have to live in this world and so they can change it and it's gonna be so critical to the future of this country, to their future, and their family about changing it. I mean I love the power of public service to do good and if anything that I can convey to these young people is that you can really make a difference. (clears throat) In one of my speeches on campus, a student asked me, he said, "Well," he said, "you're asking us to run for office, "but you left. (Fritz chuckling) "How do you explain that?" (audience laughing) I said, "That's a very good point." (chuckles) (audience laughing) I said, "You caught me in my weakest point." But anyway, I said, "But I'm at this age of the age spectrum. "You're at the beginning, "and so I'm trying to make an impact "on the outside to convey to people "how it used to work, "but to reassure people it did work a certain way, "not always easy, but it can work. "It's depending on who you elect to office," but they're just beginning their lives and they're shaping the world and they have the ability to shape and infuse it and to know that their voice does make a difference. People so often underestimate their voices and the impact that they can have. They can influence change. I often would tell groups. They wonder if they should meet members of Congress or their staff and I said, "Believe me, it does make a difference. "Your voice matters." Now that you're in the social media age, not rotary dial where you used to dial one number at a time, you really can maximize your ability to influence and that's why it's so critically important for them to understand that. I love public service from the standpoint of being able to improve people's lives and I hope that they can be infused when I started out with the same enthusiasm and passion that it can bring to their lives and to people around them where you can really make a difference. I mean I'm probably unusual in this sense that reading a good memo got my adrenaline going (Fritz chuckling) about how I could change things. I mean it's because it is so important and that's why it's dismay to see what has unfolded in Washington when you know it could be so different. - [Fritz] It's also an inspiration to our students about why they need to write good memos, so. - Yes. (audience laughing) Somebody reads them (chuckles). - [Fritz] Absolutely, why don't we open it up for questions. - Yeah. - [Fritz] If you would just identify yourself quickly, keep the question short, make sure it's a question, please. - [Mike] Hello Senator, thanks for joining us. My name is Mike Haller and I'm a proud alum. I just finished reading a book by Bob Schieffer, the journalist. - Oh. - [Mike] And he was decrying the low voter participation rates around the country. He said his native Texas is about the lowest and one of the reasons he gives for that is the disappearance of local journalists and local journalism and the fact that people have to get their news from a variety of different sources over the internet. I wonder if you can comment on that, thank you. - Yeah. I agree with them. I mean I think that, no question, that local reporting, local press is so critical to getting your information. I was a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and one of the concerns that we had was media consolidation and talking about this very point with too few radios, too few newspapers, and limited ownership and that is true and it unfortunately occurred, that type of consolidation exponentially across the country, but you eliminate the many voices and the many eyes and ears that can give to a problem and encouraging people who don't hear the local news, which is really where people get most of their information. I mean the local news is the most important to people and when they can't get that kind of coverage of what's happening in their community, it doesn't incentivize the turn out. It's a very good point. - [Fritz] One question from above here. - [Woman] Thank you Senator Snowe. Welcome to Durham, North Carolina. - Thank you. I was very encouraged by your statistics where you mentioned the number of women representatives and senators. You mentioned approximately 327 of approximately 12,000. I have a question for you. - Yes. - [Woman] Given this is 2018 and women of colors face particular difficulties in running for office, you had mentioned gerrymandering, working across bipartisan lines, and also in reform of congressional districts. Of that 327, I do remember when Senator Carol Moseley Braun from Illinois - Yes. - [Woman] Was first African-American and she had mentioned it was not a welcoming climate and certain of the senators had made disparaging remarks. Senator Snowe, in all of your infinite wisdom and I really appreciate you being here, what advice would you give for women of color, particular of Latino women, LBTG women, and African-American women who want to seek office? - You should run for office and get the support of your community and the support of people because it's so important to have your voices represented in the House of Representatives, United States Congress, at the state level and at the local level. I'd give advice in terms of running for office, sometimes it's a great idea to start at the local level or running for the state legislature. I had the benefit of serving in the state legislature. So it gave me the opportunity to determine whether or not this is something I wanted to do and also to familiarize myself with the legislative work and so it oddly to realize that this was my passion because I continued it for 40 years. So I would encourage you to run because we need to have obviously African-American women serving in Congress. I served with several in the House of Representatives and I did serve with Senator Braun as well in the Senate and I know it wasn't always easy. But I would encourage you to get the support and be out there and speaking because you can build a grassroots organization. That's what's key. Grassroots organization is so critical. I tell this to everybody who's thinking about running for office is that to go out, knock on doors, figure out who your supporters can be, build a coalition, and build a strong grassroots organization that is enthusiastic and is willing to work day and night to get you elected, but you should run. - [Woman] Thank you. - Yeah. - [Fritz] Here. - [Elliot] My name is Elliot. I'm a sophomore studying Environmental Sciences & Policy, and first off I just wanna thank you very much for coming to speak tonight. So I have two interconnected questions. - Yes. - [Elliot] The first one being about money and politics. I think one the big reasons why you have such polarization is just the influence of larger interest groups and the money that they funnel in the campaigns, specifically being interested in the environment, knowing the fossil fuel industry or with the recent basically about gun reform, just being such a big poe-uhn. So I'm curious what specific proposals you think can and should and would be enacted about this, and then secondly, when you talk about these topics that you spoken to us today with your former Senate colleagues, what do they say about them? - The ones (mumbles) would agree. They're frustrated because a lot of people get elected, go to Washington. They wanna do their jobs. They see so many things that are left undone. They wanna accomplish great things for the country. So it is truly frustrating that they're (clears throat) bound by the kind of partisanship that has gripped Washington over the years. So they definitely are. Just hearing the speeches that I heard from these four individuals who we honored at the Bipartisan Policy Center last week really gives you insight about how they still try to work at various levels in getting things done and what they can accomplish. In fact, the Republican congresswoman is the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues, so it's still exist in the House of Representatives today. She talked about the things that they are working on. So they find ways in which to work together and to build commonality in some of the key issues and sort of like inch by inch. The money factor, which is a huge challenge, I know because I worked on this issue significantly when we passed the McCain-Feingold, legislation became law, and I had a provision. There was the Snowe-Jeffress provision on issue advocacy and that was the provision that was challenged in the Supreme Court once and it was upheld. Sandra Day O'Connor was still on the court, but then unfortunately when Citizens United occurred, my provision was struck down. That was at the core of the issue and the challenge and unfortunately we got Citizens United in the super packs that has unleashed this force of outside money. We don't know who is donating to these organizations. You know who has the super pack, but you don't know who is donating to these groups. So that's what needs to change. So at least from a disclosure standpoint and transparency, it doesn't change the amount of money, but it can from the standpoint, many of the people, if they're identities were disclosed and how much they contribute or who contributed to some of these groups that financed these ads, they would not be contributing. So transparency and accountability can make a big difference. One of the other things we propose, so another way of lessening money in politics, is that we ban leadership packs all for the top three leaders in each side and in each house because, and I was one of the few remaining senators that didn't have a leadership pack, because if you're not in leadership, then why should you have a leadership pack? It's one more pack that you are raising money for, spending time raising money for, adding more money when it isn't going to your campaign, but it's to raise money as a way of getting around to contributing to your colleagues or everybody else who's running for office, in addition to your own organization where you have to finance. So it's one more layer and one more major distraction for elected officials. They have to raise money 'cause there's a lot of pressure on them to raise a certain amount of money. If you are chairs of committees, you have to contribute so much money to the senatorial committees on both sides of the Congressional committees. So we really should eliminate that ability. - [Elliot] Thank you very much. - [Fritz] We have time for one more question, that's fine. - [Sunny] Thanks. My name is Sunny Ladd and I'm a recently retired faculty member from the Sanford School and I have long-time New England roots and so I'm just delighted to be here. - Thank you. - [Sunny] I'm from Boston, but I have grandparents from Maine and buried in Maine and all sort of things and I spend time in the summer in Maine. I've been incredibly impressed with some of the senators from Maine in the past. I've had a chance to get to know George Mitchell a little bit and (mumbles). So my question for you has to do with the political culture in Maine. What is it about Maine that makes it possible (chuckles) to elect moderate candidates and thoughtful candidates who are willing to work hard for all of us? - I don't know, maybe it's the coastal water (chuckles). No, I was, it's interesting. I always say there are 100 senators. There are only 100 senators and every senator not only represents his or her state, but also the country. In Maine, those of us who have had the privilege of representing the state in the United State Senate inherited the legacy and the tradition of the senators who preceded us, including Margaret Chase Smith, speaking of women. I mean she set a standard for courage as being the only woman in the United States Senate and denouncing McCarthyism with General McCarthy when she delivered her famous declaration of conscience speech. I mean she dared to do it in '94 her male colleagues dared not to do at the time and she spoke out and denounced him. So that legacy is embedded in our political culture: Ed Muskie, George Mitchell, Bill Cohen. So people in Maine expect you to do the right thing in the right way and for the right reasons and for your country, state, and party, in that order, and you better not forget it because they (chuckles) they're very independent. It's just who we are and it's so important to be mindful of that. You can't forget it as an elected official. I always used to tell my leadership, "I can't help it. "This is the way I grew up in Maine, "personally and politically, "I'm independent because that's who we are by nature," but it was that political tradition and legacy that was bequeathed to us that made it critically important that we adhere to it. So I think it's all part of that. In fact, I always remember Margaret Chase Smith's first speech that I heard at a Republican state convention. The first words were, 'cause I was so impressed that she was serving the United States Senate, she said, "I tell it like it is," and that was certainly the hallmark of who she was and thankfully she did. - Well clearly you're more than worthy example of that political tradition. Let me say before we adjourn, I invite you upstairs. we have a reception and maybe continue the conversation, but let me just say first of all I mean it is a loss that you're not serving. We understand why you're not in the Congress, but clearly you're still serving in public life and it's great to know that you're part of the team working on what I think is the biggest issue of our time, the dysfunction of our political system that we have to figure out if we're gonna accomplish anything else. So I wanna thank you for being here. - Thank you, Fritz, thank you. - And thank you for all these fabulous years - Thank you. Of public service. So please join me in-- - Thank you, thank you all. (audience clapping) Thank you, it was a pleasure. (background noise drowns out other sounds) Thank you, thank you.


Early life

Official photo of Representative Snowe in 1980
Official photo of Representative Snowe in 1980

Snowe was born Olympia Jean Bouchles in Augusta, Maine, the daughter of Georgia (née Goranites) and George John Bouchles. Her father emigrated to the United States from Sparti, Greece, and her maternal grandparents were also Greek.[9][10] She is a member of the Greek Orthodox Church.[11]

Snowe's early life had its share of tragedies. When she was eight years old, her mother died of breast cancer, and less than a year later, her father died of heart disease. Orphaned, she was moved to Auburn, to be raised by her aunt and uncle, a textile mill worker and a barber, respectively, along with their five children. Her brother John was raised separately by other family members. Within a few years, disease would also claim her uncle's life. Snowe attended St. Basil's Academy in Garrison, New York from the third grade to the ninth. One of her teachers was Athena Hatziemmanuel, a notable Greek-American educator at the school. Returning to Auburn, she attended Edward Little High School before entering the University of Maine in Orono, from which she earned a degree in Political Science (1969). Shortly after graduation, Bouchles married her fiancé, Republican state legislator Peter T. Snowe, on December 29, 1969, in New York City.[12]

Early political career

State Senator Snowe
State Senator Snowe

Snowe entered politics and rose quickly, winning a seat on the Board of Voter Registration and working for Congressman (later U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of Defense) William Cohen. Tragedy struck Snowe again in 1973, when her husband was killed in an automobile accident. At the urging of family, friends, neighbors and local leaders, Snowe ran for her husband's Auburn-based seat in the Maine House of Representatives at the age of 26 and won. She was re-elected to the House in 1974, and, in 1976, won election to the Maine Senate, representing Androscoggin County. That same year, she was a delegate to both the state and national Republican conventions. Snowe was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, and represented Maine's 2nd Congressional District from 1979 to 1995. The district takes in most of the northern two-thirds of the state, including Bangor and her hometown of Auburn. She served as a member of the Budget and International Relations Committees.[citation needed]

Snowe married John R. McKernan, Jr., then Governor of Maine, in February 1989. Snowe and John McKernan had served together in the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1986, when McKernan represented the 1st District. While Snowe was First Lady of Maine from 1989 to 1995, she served as a U.S. Representative and a United States Senator.

Tragedy struck Snowe yet again in 1991 when her stepson Peter McKernan died from a heart ailment at the age of 20.

U.S. Senate career


Snowe and her husband, former Maine Gov. John McKernan, with President George W. Bush and Laura Bush at a holiday reception at the White House
Snowe and her husband, former Maine Gov. John McKernan, with President George W. Bush and Laura Bush at a holiday reception at the White House

In 1994, when Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell declined to run for re-election, Snowe immediately declared her candidacy for the seat. The Democratic nominee was her House colleague, 1st District Congressman Tom Andrews. Snowe defeated Andrews 60–36%, carrying every county in the state. Snowe was part of the Republican election sweep of 1994, when the Republican party captured both the House and Senate for the first time since 1954. Snowe was easily re-elected in 2000 over State Senate President Mark Lawrence, increasing her winning margin to 69%–31%. She cruised past Democratic opponent Jean Hay Bright in 2006, winning by 74% to 20.6%.[13]


Snowe touring damaged areas of Maine in 2007
Snowe touring damaged areas of Maine in 2007

Snowe was an important voice during the Senate's 1999 impeachment trial of then-President Bill Clinton. She and fellow Maine Senator Susan Collins sponsored a motion that would have allowed the Senate to vote separately on the charges and the remedy – a "finding of fact" resolution. When the motion failed, Snowe and Collins voted to acquit, arguing that Clinton's perjury did not warrant his removal from office. Her occasional breaks with the Bush administration drew attacks from conservative Republicans; the Club for Growth and Concerned Women for America label her a "Republican In Name Only" (RINO). In February 2006, named Snowe one of its "8 in '08", a group of eight female politicians who could possibly run and/or be elected president in 2008.[citation needed]

Snowe and the Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter, meeting in the boardroom at Supervisor Shipbuilding, Bath Iron Works
Snowe and the Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter, meeting in the boardroom at Supervisor Shipbuilding, Bath Iron Works

In April 2006, Snowe was selected by Time as one of "America's 10 Best Senators".[14] She was the only woman so recognized. Time praised Snowe for her sensitivity to her constituents, also noting that: "Because of her centrist views and eagerness to get beyond partisan point scoring, Maine Republican Olympia Snowe is in the center of every policy debate in Washington." She received an honorary degree from Bates College in 1998, and another from the University of Delaware in 2008. Snowe did not miss any of the 657 votes on the Senate floor during the 110th Congress from 2007 to 2009.[15] She was one of only eight senators who did not miss any votes during that session.[15]

Snowe is the fourth woman to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the first to chair its seapower subcommittee which oversees the Navy and Marine Corps. In 2001, Snowe became the first Republican woman to secure a full-term seat on the Senate Finance Committee.

Snowe was the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the United States House of Representatives; she is also the first woman to have served in both houses of a state legislature and both houses of the U.S. Congress. She is the first Greek-American congresswoman. With her 1989 marriage to McKernan, she became the first person to simultaneously be a member of Congress and First Lady of a state. She never lost an election in her 35 years as an elected official, and in the 2006 midterm senatorial elections, she won with a reported 73.99% of votes. However, on Tuesday, February 27, 2012, citing excessive partisanship and a dispiriting political environment, Snowe announced she would not run for re-election in November 2012. Her surprise decision delivered a potential blow to Republicans, who needed just a handful of seats to regain control of the Senate; Snowe was considered one of their safer incumbents.[16]

Gang of 14

Snowe meeting with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito
Snowe meeting with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito

On May 23, 2005, Snowe was one of fourteen senators dubbed the Gang of 14, who defused a confrontation between Senate Democrats (who were filibustering several judicial nominees) and the Senate Republican leadership (who wanted to use the nominations as a flashpoint to eliminate filibusters on nominees through the so-called nuclear option). The Gang-brokered compromise precluded further filibusters and the implementation of the nuclear option for the remainder of the 109th Congress; under its terms, the Democrats retained the power to filibuster a Bush judicial nominee in an "extraordinary circumstance", and nominees (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William Pryor) received a simple majority vote by the full Senate. The Gang later played an important role in the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, as they asserted that neither met the "extraordinary circumstances" provision outlined in their agreement. Snowe ultimately voted for both Roberts and Alito.[17]

Committee assignments

Snowe in a picture of the 16 female senators in the 110th US Congress
Snowe in a picture of the 16 female senators in the 110th US Congress

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Snowe meeting with sailors returning from Iraq, at Maine's Naval Air Station Brunswick
Snowe meeting with sailors returning from Iraq, at Maine's Naval Air Station Brunswick

Snowe shares a centrist ideology with her former fellow senator from Maine, Susan Collins, who is considered a "half-turn more conservative" than Snowe.[18] Snowe supports abortion rights and gay rights, and though she previously voted to block the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, she was one of eight Republican senators to vote for the repeal on December 18, 2010. In her 2006 re-election campaign, she was one of two Republican Senate candidates endorsed by the prominent gay rights organization, the Human Rights Campaign (the other was Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, a Democrat since 2013).[19] She was labeled one of the top ten RINOs, or what they label insufficiently conservative, in 2005 by the conservative magazine, Human Events.[20] According to GovTrack, Snowe was the most liberal Republican Senator in 2012-13 being placed by GovTrack's analysis to the left of every Republican and several Democrats.[21] In 2012, the non-partisan National Journal gave Snowe a composite 57% conservative score and a 43% liberal score.[22]

Snowe supported both President Clinton's involvement in Kosovo and President George W. Bush's invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq. On fiscal issues, she has voiced support for cutting taxes as economic stimulus, although she joined fellow Republican senators Lincoln Chafee and John McCain in voting against the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. In 2004, she opposed the accelerated implementation of the Bush tax cuts citing budget concerns and she was joined by Senators Collins, McCain, and Chafee.[23]

Snowe and Chair Mary Landrieu address the Small Business Committee
Snowe and Chair Mary Landrieu address the Small Business Committee
With fellow Maine Senator Susan Collins
With fellow Maine Senator Susan Collins

Snowe is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership and supports stem cell research. She is also a member of Republicans for Environmental Protection, the Republican Majority for Choice, Republicans for Choice and The Wish List (Women In the Senate and House), a group of pro-choice Republican women. Her highest composite conservative score according to the National Journal was a 63% in 2010 and her highest composite liberal score was a 55.5% in 2006.[22] She voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, an amendment aimed at banning gay marriage, in 2004.[24] She voted against banning gay marriage in 2006 for a second time.[25] In 2005 and 2007, she voted to support embryonic stem-cell research.[26] In 2008, Snowe endorsed Republican candidate John McCain for President of the United States.[27]

In the 111th Congress, Snowe backed the release of additional Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. While she opposed President Obama's budget resolution, she pledged to work in a bipartisan manner on the issues of health care reform and energy.[28]

In 2007, Olympia Snowe was among the Republicans who voted in favor of the McCain-Kennedy bill to give citizenship to undocumented immigrants.[29] However, she voted against the DREAM Act in 2010.[30] She also voted to continue funding to 'sanctuary cities,' voted against eliminating the 'Y' guestworker visa program, but she also voted in favor of building a fence along the southern border and voted to make English the official language of the United States.[31]

"In October 2009, Snowe was the sole Republican in the Senate to vote for the Finance Committee’s health care reform bill."[26] However, she stated that she might not support the final bill due to strong reservations.[32] Snowe was one of three Republicans to break with their party and vote with Democrats to end a filibuster of a defense spending bill; the filibuster was meant to delay or stop the vote on health care legislation.[33] In December 2009, Snowe voted against cloture for two procedural motions and ultimately against the Senate Health Care Reform Bill. Snowe again voted against health care reform when she voted "no" on the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[34] She was one of eight Republicans who voted with Democrats to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.[35]

When Snowe announced in February 2012 that she would not seek re-election, it was reported that she and Democrat Ben Nelson, who also did not seek re-election, had the closest overlap[clarification needed] of any two members of the U.S. Senate.[36]

In 2012, Snowe endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney for President of the United States.[37] After leaving the Senate, Snowe announced her support for same-sex marriage.[38]

Snowe has been on the Board of Directors for the investment counsel firm T. Rowe Price since 2013.[39] She opposed Donald Trump as the GOP nominee in 2016.[40] She said that Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton were the least partisan 2016 presidential candidates.[41]

Electoral history

Townspeople and businesses in Bethel, Maine created "Olympia" the snow-woman, named after Snowe
Townspeople and businesses in Bethel, Maine created "Olympia" the snow-woman, named after Snowe
Maine U.S. Senate Election 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Olympia Snowe (incumbent) 405,596 74.01%
Democratic Jean Hay Bright 113,131 20.59%
Independent William H. Slavick 26,222 5.37%
Maine U.S. Senate Election 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Olympia Snowe (incumbent) 437,689 68.94%
Democratic Mark Lawrence 197,183 31.06%
Maine U.S. Senate Election 1994
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Olympia Snowe 308,244 60.24%
Democratic Tom Andrews 186,042 36.36%
Independent Plato Truman 17,205 3.36%
Maine's 2nd congressional district election 1992
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Olympia Snowe (incumbent) 153,022 49.13%
Democratic Patrick K. McGowan 130,824 42.01%
Green Jonathan K. Carter 27,526 8.84%
Maine's 2nd congressional district election 1990
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Olympia Snowe (incumbent) 121,704 51.02%
Democratic Patrick K. McGowan 116,798 48.97%
Maine's 2nd congressional district election 1988
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Olympia Snowe (incumbent) 167,226 66.17%
Democratic Kenneth P. Hayes 85,346 33.77%
Maine's 2nd congressional district election 1986
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Olympia Snowe (incumbent) 148,770 77.32%
Democratic Richard R. Charette 43,614 22.67%
Maine's 2nd congressional district election 1984
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Olympia Snowe (incumbent) 192,166 75.72%
Democratic Chipman C. Bull 57,347 22.60%
Constitution Kenneth E. Stoddard 4,242 1.67%
Maine's 2nd congressional district election 1982
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Olympia Snowe (incumbent) 136,075 66.65%
Democratic James Patrick Dunleavy 68,086 33.35%
Maine's 2nd congressional district election 1980
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Olympia Snowe (incumbent) 186,406 78.50%
Democratic Harold L. Silverman 51,026 21.49%
Maine's 2nd congressional district election 1978
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Olympia Snowe 87,939 50.82%
Democratic Markham J. Gartley 70,691 40.85%
Independent Frederick W. Whittaker 8,035 4.64%
Independent Eddie Shurtleff 1,923 1.11%
Independent Robert H. Burmeister 1,653 0.96%
Independent Margaret E. Cousins 1,573 0.91%
Independent Robert L. Cousins 1,223 0.71%

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Kane, Paul; Cillizza, Chris (February 29, 2012). "Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) says she'll retire, citing partisanship in Congress". Washington Post. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  4. ^ McGregor, Jena (February 29, 2012). "Losing Olympia Snowe". Washington Post. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  5. ^ "Olympia J. Snowe: The Caretaker". Time. 2006-04-14. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
  6. ^ Hulse, Carl (February 10, 2009). "Maine Senators Break With Republican Party on Stimulus". New York Times. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Maine GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe won't seek re-election". USA Today. 2012-02-28. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  8. ^ "Olympia Snowe". Bipartisan Policy Center. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Maine senator has history of being in the middle of things". Associated Press. April 11, 2003. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  10. ^ Battle, Robert. "Ancestries of United States Senators: Olympia Snowe". self-published. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
  11. ^ Broder, David S. (1997-06-08). "A Real Woman's Issue". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
  12. ^ 'Peter Snowe Killed in Turnpike Crash,' Lewiston Daily Sun, April 11, 1973, pg. 1, 2
  13. ^ Trygstad, Kyle; Miller, Joshua; Toeplitz, Shira. "Olympia Snowe Shocks Colleagues With Retirement". CQ Roll Call. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  14. ^ Calabresi, Massimo; Perry Bacon Jr. (2006-04-16). "America's 10 Best Senators". Time. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
  15. ^ a b "Senate members who missed votes: 100th Congress". Washington Post. 2009. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
  16. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (February 29, 2012). "Olympia Snowe Won't Seek Re-election". The New York Times. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  17. ^ "Olympia Snowe on Principles & Values". Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  18. ^ "How Maine's GOP Senators Are Key to Obama's Agenda". Time. 2009-02-12.
  19. ^ . Human Rights Campaign Retrieved 2011-06-07. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ "Top 10 RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) | Human Events". Human Events. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  21. ^ "Olympia Snowe, former Senator for Maine -". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  22. ^ a b "Olympia Snowe's Ratings and Endorsements".
  23. ^ Andrews, Edmund L. "Mutiny by 4 Republicans Over Bush's Tax Cutting Forces Delay on the Budget Vote". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  24. ^ Hulse, Carl (2004-07-14). "Senate Vote Blocks Effort to Ban Gay Marriage in Constitution". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  25. ^ "Gay marriage ban defeated in Senate vote". MSNBC. 2006-06-07. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  26. ^ a b "9 Snowe votes that angered the GOP". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  27. ^ "Endorsement of John McCain". Youtube. 2007-02-02. Retrieved 2007-04-06.
  28. ^ "Snowe Responds to President's Outline on the State of the American Economy". Senate Office of Olympia Snowe. 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
  29. ^ Goddard, Lisa. "The Senate immigration vote: How they voted". CNN. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  30. ^ Willis, Derek. "Fails To Advance Dream Act - H.R.5281: Removal Clarification Act of 2010". ProPublica. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  31. ^ "Olympia Snowe on Immigration". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  32. ^ Republican's Vote Lifts a Health Bill, but Hurdles Remain, The New York Times, October 14, 2009.
  33. ^ "GOP Tries to Stall Bill to Fund Pentagon". Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  34. ^ "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote". Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  35. ^ "Senate votes to repeal ban on gays openly serving in military". CNN. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  36. ^ Olympia Snowe announces her retirement from the U.S. Senate,; February 29, 2012; accessed June 26, 2014.
  37. ^
  38. ^ Lisa Desjardins (April 5, 2013). "Now out of Senate, Snowe supports same-sex marriage". CNN. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  39. ^ "Investor Relations - T. Rowe Price Group". T. Rowe Price Group.
  40. ^ Mali, Meghashyam (2016-08-10). "Republican exodus from Trump grows". The Hill. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  41. ^ "Olympia Snowe, speaking at Lesley event, says Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton least partisan of potential presidential candidates". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  42. ^ "Federal Elections 2006: Election Results for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives 4 / 15" (PDF). Retrieved 7 January 2020.

Further reading

  • Nine & Counting: The Women of the Senate, Boxer, Collins, Snowe et al., ISBN 0-06-095706-9.
  • Fighting for Common Ground: How We can Fix the Stalemate in Congress, Snowe, ISBN 1602862176

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Cohen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
John Baldacci
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Constance Brennan
First Lady of Maine
Succeeded by
Mary Herman
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jasper Wyman
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Maine
(Class 1)

1994, 2000, 2006
Succeeded by
Charlie Summers
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
George Mitchell
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Maine
Served alongside: William Cohen, Susan Collins
Succeeded by
Angus King
Preceded by
John Kerry
Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee
Succeeded by
John Kerry
This page was last edited on 14 February 2020, at 10:58
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