February 20, 2020
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Democrats look to Snowe in search for GOP moderate to speak at national convention

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Sen. Olympia Snowe

AUGUSTA, Maine — While political observers in Maine focused Friday on whether Gov. Paul LePage would attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa later this month, a national political writer speculated whether another top Maine Republican would be invited to speak at the Democratic National Convention in September.

Joe Hudson, writing for AtlanticWire, listed Sen. Olympia Snowe, who earlier this year decided to halt her bid for a fourth term in the U.S. Senate, among moderate Republicans whom Democratic convention organizers would consider as speakers to add an air of bipartisanship to the party gathering in Charlotte, N.C.

Hudson cited “an event planning document obtained by Politico’s Mike Allen saying Democrats want a ‘centrist Republican leader’ or ‘notable GOP woman’ to play a part at the Charlotte convention on at least two of the nights.”

“A punch in the gut could also come from Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, who could refrain from endorsing Obama but raise her own profile by pushing for bipartisanship,” Hudson wrote. “It’s possible she could go on stage with some sort of platitudinous unity message resembling her statements when she [announced plans to leave] the Senate.”

Snowe is the only political figure still serving in office to make Hudson’s list.

In addition to Snowe, other potential “GOP turncoats” on Hudson’s list include former Virginia Sen. John Warner, former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also lists former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, who is running a third party presidential campaign, and Arlen Specter, the former senator from Pennsylvania who switched from the Republican to Democratic party in 2009 after spending most of his political life as a moderate Republican.

Snowe spokesman Brandon Bouchard dismissed the notion that Snowe would attend the convention at which Democrats will nominate her former Senate colleague Barack Obama for a second term in the White House.

“Sen. Snowe has been a lifelong Republican and remains so, and therefore would not be speaking at the Democratic convention,” Bouchard wrote Saturday in an email to the Bangor Daily News.

The Republican National Convention will run from Aug. 27 to Aug. 30 in Tampa, Fla.

The Democratic National Convention will run from Sept. 3 through Sept. 6 in Charlotte, N.C.

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