There were two winners in the special election in Massachusetts this week. One of them, Senator-elect Scott Brown, arrived in Washington today and will soon take his seat in the U.S. Senate. The other winner comes from just up I-95 from Brown’s hometown of Wrentham, Massachusetts: Maine Senator Olympia Snowe.
Last summer, Snowe was the last Republican to leave the negotiating table when the Senate Finance Committee was drafting its bill. She had several concerns about the legislation, but chief among them was the public option, which is now no longer an option in any scenario. It was always a mistake to move forward without Snowe, and among all of Majority Leader Harry Reid’s mistakes, this was the greatest. Not only would Snowe have been insurance against the whimsies of Joe Lieberman and the principles of Ben Nelson, Snowe always brings something to the table that the others do not: the “bi-partisan” label.