Does Republican Senator Olympia Snowe’s bipartisan vote on health care really matter? It's ONE vote for goodness sakes!
But, history shows one "maverick" vote can make a difference. Ever since President Obama publicaly admired her bipartisan "courage,” that "courage" has been publicly excoriated by conservative talk radio.
Rush Limbaugh decried: “This voice by the way is the voice of the new castrati. Those who have lost all gonads, guts and courage, throughout our culture and our political system.”
Still, Snowe has inspired something many politicians have not these days: admiration. On CNN's Political Ticker, half the comments went like this: “Leave it to a woman to keep things moving;” “Good for her. I like independent thinkers;” and “I wish both the Senate and House were filled with people like her.”
Snowe’s vote could end up being seen as less of a betrayal than a gift for her party.
“Olympia Snowe could help rally what remains of a moderate Republican group,” says CNN Political Analyst David Gergen. “That is important – if the Republican Party wants to be a national majority they need moderates.”
Many analysts believe the Republican Party has been hijacked by conservatives – to its detriment. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Poll last month, just 43 percent say Republican lawmakers in Congress would move the country in the right direction.
Still, can one Republican bipartisan vote really change perception?
“I don’t see where the current leaders of the Republican Party are going to rebuild their party around the Olympia Snowe brand,” says Martin Kady, deputy Congress editor for POLITICO.com. “The folks who are going to be successful next year in 2010, they may very well be Olympia Snowe-type politicians.”
In other words, analysts say conservatives may have the loudest voices right now, but party leaders surely know that including moderates in the Republican tent is a key factor in rebuilding the party.
What do you think? Is Snowe’s vote really a gift to the GOP?
Filed under: Just Sayin'
Welcome to the American Morning blog where you can get daily news updates from American Morning's reporters and producers. Join us for "the most news in the morning," weekdays from 6-9 a.m. ET, only on CNN.