Robert Long

Robert Long

Senior Editor, Southern Maine


Trump: ‘We need law and order in our country’

By Robert Long on Sept. 26, 2016, at 9:54 p.m.
The 2016 Republican nominee’s rhetoric on safety and emphasis on “law and order” in response to a question about race echoes that of 1968’s Republican nominee Richard Nixon. Nixon appealed to what his campaign labeled “the silent majority” after anti-war and race riots during Democratic President Lyndon Johnson’s tenure. Trump’s …

Debate? What debate?

By Robert Long on Sept. 26, 2016, at 9:34 p.m.
In less than 30 minutes, any semblance of an exchange of ideas has disintegrated and we have basically a competition to blast out talking points and barbs. Policy? Vision? Answers?

Trump: ‘Our energy policies are a disaster’

By Robert Long on Sept. 26, 2016, at 9:23 p.m.
Trump’s statement echoes one of the main complaints that Maine Gov. Paul LePage has made — that high energy costs stymie the economy. He later cites NAFTA, signed by Bill Clinton, as a cause for lost jobs in northeastern states like Maine. Trump doubling down on energy and trade, which …

Snort, gurgle

By Robert Long on Sept. 26, 2016, at 9:04 p.m.
How long will it be before we see — and hear — a meme of Lester Holt clearing his throat during the minutes before the debate?

Who Maine’s top elected officials support

By Robert Long on Sept. 26, 2016, at 8:39 p.m.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage has been an ardent supporter of Donald Trump since Maine’s governor endorsed the New York billionaire in late February. LePage recently predicted that Trump would take three of Maine’s four Electoral College votes, losing only the progressive 1st District in southern and coastal Maine. Independent U.S. …

Monitor Maine reaction here

By Robert Long on Sept. 26, 2016, at 8:29 p.m.
The Bangor Daily News has writers at various locations throughout the state to solicit reaction from Mainers watching the debate. We will share impressions, insights and quips from people in Portland, at the University of Maine, downtown Bangor, The County and elsewhere. We appreciate their cooperation and your support. Stay …

Remembering what happened four years ago

By Robert Long on Sept. 26, 2016, at 8:13 p.m.
The first debate between Democrat Barack Obama, the incumbent president, and Republican Mitt Romney occurred on Oct. 3, 2012, at the University of Denver. The general consensus was that Romney won that debate, as Obama seemed uncharacteristically tongue-tied and off-message. Some pundits speculated that — as is the case this …

Change of venue

By Robert Long on Sept. 26, 2016, at 7:58 p.m.
This year’s first presidential debate was scheduled to take place at Wright State University near Dayton, Ohio. But in July, the university withdrew as a host, with its president calling the security demands “daunting. University officials speculated that hosting the debate could have cost the public school more than $8 …

Maine Republican Party leader weighs in

By Robert Long on Aug. 31, 2016, at 3:18 p.m.
After days of general silence as its leaders were out of state, the Maine Republican Party weighed in Wednesday on the controversy about Gov. Paul LePage. Rick Bennett, chairman of the party, walked a fine line, avoiding criticism of the governor and Senate leaders who have called for “corrective action.” …

By Robert Long on Aug. 04, 2016, at 3:39 p.m.
In a state that is home to Bath Iron Works and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Trump tells the crowd that we need to rebuild our Navy. Here is a snapshot of what the fleet looked like in 2015. 

By Robert Long on Aug. 04, 2016, at 3:36 p.m.
On Wednesday, LePage said drugs are flowing into Maine from New York while criticizing a “New York billionaire” (Michael Bloomberg) for trying to influence Maine politics (via contributions to a ballot question campaign that aims to expand background checks for gun purchases). Today, Trump, a New York billionaire introduced by …

Buckeye power

By Robert Long on July 28, 2016, at 9:41 p.m.
Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio is speaking. There have been multiple speakers from Ohio tonight, reflecting the importance that the Buckeye State plays in the Electoral College calculus. No Republican has won the presidency without winning Ohio. Clinton forces already have an aggressive ground game underway in Ohio.

What does Hillary Clinton have in common with Ronald Reagan?

By Robert Long on July 28, 2016, at 8:46 p.m.
Whoever wins the Nov. 8 presidential election will become one of the oldest candidates to take office. Hillary Clinton will turn 69 on Oct. 26. The oldest person elected to serve as U.S. president was Ronald Reagan, who was 69 when he won the Oval Office in 1980. Republican nominee …

By Robert Long on July 28, 2016, at 8:23 p.m.
We have been hearing a lot about Hillary Clinton’s “It Takes A Village” theme, which is the title of her 1996 book. The phrase also has a convention connection. She used it during the 1996 Democratic National Convention, when her husband, Bill, was nominated to seek re-election to a second …

Can Democrats break decades-long pattern?

By Robert Long on May 07, 2016, at 3:13 p.m.
Since before the 22nd Amendment that limits a president to two consecutive terms in office, U.S. voters have treated presidential elections as if they were tide pools. Voters let an administration from one party come in and clean out the landscape left behind by eight years of control by the …

Marijuana question heading to ballot

By Robert Long on April 29, 2016, at 3:19 p.m.
The House and Senate “indefinitely postponed” action Friday on a proposal to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Maine, meaning the question will now appear on the November state ballot. Rep. Diane Russell, a Democrat from Portland who has been a leading advocate for legalization and who sponsored many …

House kills Clean Election cash advance

By Robert Long on April 29, 2016, at 2:23 p.m.
The House sustained Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of LD 1579, which would have delivered a $500,000 advance to Maine’s public campaign financing system for this year’s legislative elections. The vote was 84 to 63, which fell short of the two-thirds required to override a veto. Earlier this month, Jonathan Wayne, …

Departing senators give farewell speeches

By Robert Long on April 29, 2016, at 11:33 a.m.
The Senate took a break from veto votes to allow departing members to say goodbye. The speeches ran from tearful to humorous to just a few words. Among those who spoke were Sens. Linda Valentino of Saco, David Burns of Whiting, Earle McCormick of West Gardiner, Anne Haskell of Portland …

Four vetoes sustained in early voting

By Robert Long on April 29, 2016, at 11:15 a.m.
The House and Senate started voting on Gov. Paul LePage’s vetoes at around 11 a.m. In early votes, each chamber sustained two of LePage’s vetoes. The Senate also voted to override a number of vetoes, including pay raises for workers at state psychiatric hospitals and a change in how Maine …

Riverview staffing fix on way to LePage

By Robert Long on April 15, 2016, at 7:11 p.m.
A bill designed to address staffing problems at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta made its way through the legislative process and is on its way to Gov. Paul LePage. Chronic staffing shortages and morale problems at the state-run hospital prompted the court master who oversees the state’s mental health …