Olympia Snowe
American politician
Olympia Snowe
Olympia Jean Snowe is an American politician and former United States Senator from Maine and a member of the Republican Party. Snowe has become widely known for her ability to influence the outcome of close votes, including whether to end filibusters. She and her former fellow senator from Maine, Susan Collins, are regarded as leading moderates within their party. In 2006, she was named one of America's Best Senators by Time Magazine.
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Reince Priebus Is Right: "It's A Binary Choice. It's Donald Trump Or Hillary Clinton." And Donald Trump is Dangerous
Huffington Post - 4 months
This piece was originally printed in The Hill in the Contributor Blog on October 20, 2016 There is one thing I agree with Reince Priebus about this Presidential election. Priebus, the Republican National Committee Chairman, said this election presents a "binary choice." He's right and the choice before us could not be more clear. On the one side we have Donald Trump -- a nationalistic-strongman demagogue with non-democratic instincts. Trump pits American against American, denigrates women (and we thought it couldn't get any worse, but it has), African-Americans, the disabled, his opponents, those who disagree with him, blames Mexicans and Muslims for our problems and has called for restrictions on free speech and press. Our First Amendment is what distinguishes America from all others. No country has as free a media and as strong a free speech right as America and Donald Trump wants to limit and reduce your right to free speech and press. And perhaps most troublesome of all, ...
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Huffington Post article
An Olympian Snow Endeavor in Sochi
NYTimes - about 3 years
To dress alpine venues of the Sochi Games in white has required the help of science, a lot of machines and a little luck.     
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NYTimes article
Marlo Thomas: The Women Who Saved the Country
The Huffington Post - over 3 years
There's an old saying I learned during the early days of the feminist movement about women working together toward a common goal: "One is a pest, two is a team, three is a coalition." I've always liked that comment because it speaks directly to what I believe most deeply about women: that there's safety -- and power -- in numbers. This solidarity was on full display during the final days of the government shutdown. As the New York Times first reported on October 14, the stubborn logjam was finally broken when a group of women Senators decided enough was enough and spearheaded the compromise that got the ball rolling. Those women were, among others: Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D, MD), Sen. Susan Collins (R, ME), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D, MO), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R, AK), Sen. Patty Murray (D, WA) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R, NH), So how did the minority gender of the U.S. Senate -- 20 out of 100 senators -- manage to knock some sense into the heads of their more obstructionist male ...
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The Huffington Post article
Lies the Dems tell themselves
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
What's more, House Republicans "coerced the Democrats into adopting a Republican health insurance plan." A reader e-mails me, "The Republicans who hate Obama would not permit the creation of a decent single payer plan which would allow private insurance carriers to participate on a competitive uniform benefit program." If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi abandoned single-payer to win GOP votes, they are the most incompetent negotiators in history. Former Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, voted for the Obama stimulus package and a measure to end "don't ask, don't tell." How We Can Fix the Stalemate in Congress, Snowe recalls how 40 House Republicans voted with 249 Democrats to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program, only to watch Democrats unveil a stimulus package with no GOP input a week later. When the Senate Finance Committee voted on two Democratic public-option proposals, to allow government plans to compete with private insurers, ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Olympia Snowe: This is no way to run a country
LATimes - over 3 years
What is needed, the former Maine congresswoman says, is a counterweight to the extremism. This is the first year in more than four decades that I haven't been in the legislative branch of government. During that span, I've witnessed government's greatest potential as well as its calamitous capacity for dysfunction. Unfortunately, the latter is now drastically outweighing the former.
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LATimes article
Advice from an old guy, unchained
Reynolds Center - over 3 years
Memo: To young journalists When I was your age, I walked 20 miles through the snow just to write obituaries for a small-town newspaper. Part of that statement is untrue. Consider it your first lesson: Skepticism. Seriously, if you’ve just started your first newspaper job, especially at a major metropolitan daily, you were most likely hired because you are considered cheap and malleable. Senator Olympia Snow of Maine talks to a Scholastic Kid Reporter during the Republican National Convention in 2008. Photo by Suzanne Freeman I hate to break it to you. But I’m going to tell you a few things nobody else will, not in today’s newsrooms tamed by the Human Resources Department and political correctness. Take it for what it’s worth. You may be very bright and know how to write code and produce multi-media. But you don’t know anything about being a journalist. Perhaps you’ve had your “self esteem” stroked all your life. So, no disrespect, but you don’t know anything. You don’t kn ...
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Reynolds Center article
8 ways you can help define a political center
Yahoo News - over 3 years
In her book, “Fighting for Common Ground,” Olympia Snowe, the former senator from Maine, writes that the “fastest way” for citizens to push for compromise in Congress is to “support the efforts of existing national groups” that advocate bipartisanship. She recommends the following eight organizations, urging people to “browse their websites, visit them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.” Several of them invite direct citizen participation.
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Yahoo News article
Clothing firms in Bangladesh: Accord, alliance or disunity?
The Economist - over 3 years
A stitch in time… THE message was unequivocal from the bosses of 17 North American retail chains, including Walmart and Gap, when they launched the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety on July 10th. They called the record of Bangladeshi factories “unacceptable” and said that improving it “requires our collective effort”.After 1,129 people died in a factory collapse at Rana Plaza on the outskirts of Dhaka on April 24th, and subsequent reports that many other factories in Bangladesh were in a dangerous condition, the need for collective action seems clear. So why are North American retailers pursuing their own action plan, rather than joining the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, launched on May 13th and now supported by 72 big clothing retailers—mostly from the European Union?In most respects the North American alliance’s promises differ little from those of the European accord. The alliance, brokered by two former senators, George Mitchell and Olympia Snowe, calls f ...
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The Economist article
GOP Slow To Embrace Massachusetts Republican
Huffington Post - over 3 years
BOSTON — Massachusetts Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez's credentials would seem to fit the gold standard for the new breed of mass-appeal Republican that the GOP called for in an exhaustive postelection autopsy. Yet the Washington-based national party and its most powerful allies have been reluctant to rally behind the fresh-faced Republican with the all-star resume, raising questions about the GOP's commitment to candidates who might help improve its standing among women and minorities. "I told them from the beginning I'm going to win this with or without D.C.," Gomez said this week. In a tough race in Democrat-friendly Massachusetts, he acknowledged that Democrat Ed Markey and Democratic allies have dramatically outspent him in the special election to replace former Sen. John Kerry, whom President Barack Obama chose as his secretary of state. The election comes Tuesday, just three months after Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus released a hi ...
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Huffington Post article
T. Rowe Price elects Olympia Snowe to its board
Yahoo News - over 3 years
T. Rowe Price Group Inc. said Thursday that it has elected former U.S. Senator Olympia Snow as a director of the company. Snowe served in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2013 and as a member of the U.S. House ...
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Yahoo News article
Bipartisan Policy Center Convenes Second Meeting of Leading North American Retailers and Brands to Address Worker Safety in Bangladesh Garment Factories
Yahoo News - over 3 years
WASHINGTON, June 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Today, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) convened a second working session with leading retailers, brands, and industry associations to help expedite consensus on a single, unified safety plan to improve worker conditions in Bangladesh garment factories. Acting as independent facilitators, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and BPC Co-Founder George J. Mitchell and former U.S. Senator and BPC Senior Fellow Olympia Snowe led today's discussions, which included a wide-range of stakeholders and experts from the U.S. ...
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Yahoo News article
GOP Congresswoman: Women 'Don't Want' Equal Pay Laws
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn said on Sunday that women "don't want" equal pay laws. During a roundtable discussion on NBC's Meet The Press, former White House advisor David Axelrod asked if she would support a law promoting workplace gender equality. Blackburn responded: "I think that more important than that is making certain that women are recognized by those companies. You know, I’ve always said that I didn’t want to be given a job because I was a female, I wanted it because I was the most well-qualified person for the job. And making certain that companies are going to move forward in that vein, that is what women want. They don’t want the decisions made in Washington. They want to be able to have the power and the control and the ability to make those decisions for themselves." Blackburn voted against the 2009 Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a landmark bill for women's rights in the workplace. The law makes it easier for women to file wage discriminatio ...
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Huffington Post article
Walmart And Gap Unite On Bangladesh
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Walmart and Gap are working on their own independent safety plan to prompt reform in Bangladesh after both retailers declined to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, Women's Wear Daily reported. Forty other retailers, mostly European, have agreed to the latter pact. Over the next 30 days, the two U.S. companies will work together with a coalition of other firms and industry trade groups to come up with "a single, unified action plan," along with a schedule to implement it across Bangladesh's garment industry. Worker safety in Bangladesh has garnered international attention since the collapse of the Rana Plaza building killed more than 1,100 workers, prompting retailers and labor groups to mobilize in an effort to prevent additional tragedies. Former U.S. Sens. George Mitchell (D-Maine) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) will serve as "independent facilitators" as the retailers develop the plan, which they intend to release by early July. "Retailers approached us ...
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Huffington Post article
Olympia Snowe: Republicans Need To 'Rethink Their Approach As A Political Party'
The Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) said Tuesday that the Republican Party needs to rethink its approach and agreed with former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) that the party should be "closed for repairs." "I certainly do agree with the former majority leader, Bob Dole, with whom I worked when I first entered the Senate and who was a consensus builder and understood what was essential and important for the Republican Party and what was important for America, and that unfortunately has been lost today on Capitol Hill," Snowe said on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown." "The Republican Party is undergoing some, you know, significant and serious changes, and they are going to have to rethink their approach as a political party and how they are going to regroup and become a governing majority party that appeals to a broader group of Americans than they do today," she said. Read More... More on Video
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The Huffington Post article
Obama To Olympia Snowe: 'You Could Be A Modern Day Joan Of Arc'
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
WASHINGTON -- Former Sen. Olympia Snowe's (R-Maine) new book is a paean to the need for civility in government, with entire sections focused to rules reform, the need for ideological moderation, and post-partisan problem solving. Its title -- "Fighting for Common Ground" -- all but alerts readers not to expect gossipy, insider tidbits about life on the highest rungs of political power. But not all of its 300 pages are big-picture-focused or dry. Snowe goes into detail about the lengthy deliberations that took place around President Barack Obama's health care push in 2009 and 2010, while relaying one particularly memorable anecdote. Shortly after she defied her own party's leadership by voting to move the Affordable Care Act through the Senate Finance Committee, a call came in from Obama. The President also called me after the conclusion of the markup. He began by telling me, "A great statesperson once said, 'When history calls, history calls,'" and said I could make hist ...
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Huffington Post article
Lee Morrow: How the GOP Lost Me
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
This post was originally published in the Harvard Political Review. I've been as Republican as a Republican can be. I grew up a Republican. I've voted for Republican candidates, interned for a Republican Congressman, and worked for a Republican presidential campaign. But I no longer count myself as a member of the GOP, and it's not because I'm afraid of what people at Harvard think. I am no longer a Republican because the Grand Old Party no longer accepts people of my ideology. I have been disowned. Before explaining how that came to be and why the GOP should be worried about it, a bit about who I am: I was raised in Waco, Texas by hard working conservative parents. They owned a small used bookstore that barely kept us afloat. My siblings and I spent our afternoons there, helping with anything we could. All through childhood, I was instilled with the Republican ideals: those oft-invoked middle class values of hard work, freedom, and morality. As a child, politics didn ...
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Huffington Post article
Bruce Lesley: Protecting Child Health by Embracing Its Success
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
One of the biggest mistakes that advocates make is their failure to embrace and publicize success. After making the case for change and building the political will to pass legislation, advocates sometimes forget to circle back to celebrate wins and reinforce success. For the children's community, passage of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 1997 was achieved after a long, arduous process that included a number of compromises that created some shortcomings with the legislation, such as its capped financial structure and poor funding formula. And, even after passage of the reauthorization of the program in 2009 (12 years later), those initial shortcomings were still not easily forgotten even by proponents of the program. And yet, the enormous success that CHIP has achieved through its implementation is sometimes unknown among key national policymakers and the public. The reality is that CHIP is a tremendous success story. In close partnership with Medicaid ...
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Huffington Post article
Guess Which Politician Is Headed To '30 Rock'?
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Politicians are on network comedy shows all the time -- just rarely as themselves (think: Tina Fey as Sarah Palin), and rarely in a positive light (any political SNL cold open, ever). So it's worth raising an eyebrow to news that Nancy Pelosi will play a role in the series finale of "30 Rock," an NBC comedy created by Fey that's set to end this January. "I would do almost anything Tina Fey asks me to do,” Pelosi told the Washington Post regarding the gig. "I'm flattered that they asked me to make a cameo in the series finale. I had a lot of fun.” NBC's comedy writers have cast plenty of politicians recently, including Newt Gingrich who made a cameo on "Parks and Recreaction." Joe Biden also made an appearance on that show, as did Sens. John McCain, Barbara Boxer and Olympia Snowe. The one-hour "30 Rock" series finale will air Thursday, Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.
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Huffington Post article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Olympia Snowe
  • 2013
    Age 66
    In 2013 she made a guest appearance in the season 5 premier of the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation entitled "Ms. Knope Goes to Washington".
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  • 2012
    Age 65
    In 2012, Snowe endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney for President of the United States.
    More Details Hide Details After leaving the Senate, Snowe announced her support for same-sex marriage. The world's largest snowman, dubbed "Olympia Snow", was named in honor of her. Snowe has been on the Board of Directors for the investment counsel firm T. Rowe Price since 2013.
    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 of any two members of the U.S. Senate.
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  • 2010
    Age 63
    Snowe again voted against health care reform when she voted "no" on the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
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  • 2009
    Age 62
    In December 2009, Snowe voted against cloture for two procedural motions and ultimately against the Senate Health Care Reform Bill.
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    On October 13, 2009, Snowe voted for the Finance Committee's health care reform bill.
    More Details Hide Details However, she stated that she might not support the final bill due to strong reservations.
  • 2008
    Age 61
    In 2008, Snowe endorsed Republican candidate John McCain for President of the United States.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 2006
    Age 59
    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).
    More Details Hide Details 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 Bush tax cuts in 2003. However, she voted for the extension in 2011. She opposes most free trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). She was the only Republican to vote for the Tax Fairness and Economic Growth Act of 1992. She is a strong supporter of environmental protections. Both Snowe and fellow Maine Senator Susan Collins have embraced strong gun-control measures following the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. In the 110th Congress, Snowe worked to ensure passage of a genetic non-discrimination act, which she had previously worked to pass for nearly eight years; opposed cutting loans through the Small Business Administration; offered legislation aimed at reducing the price of prescription drugs and insurance costs for small businesses; and became a leading voice among Congressional Republicans expressing concerns over President Bush's plans for the privatization of Social Security.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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. 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.
    In April 2006, Snowe was selected by Time as one of "America's 10 Best Senators".
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    In February 2006, TheWhiteHouseProject.org 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.
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    She cruised past Democratic opponent Jean Hay Bright in 2006, winning by 74% to 20.6%.
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  • 2000
    Age 53
    Snowe was easily reelected in 2000 over State Senate President Mark Lawrence, increasing her winning margin to 69%–31%.
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  • 1999
    Age 52
    Snowe was an important voice during the Senate's 1999 impeachment trial of then-President Bill Clinton.
    More Details Hide Details 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).
  • 1994
    Age 47
    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.
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    In 1994, when Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell declined to run for re-election, Snowe immediately declared her candidacy for the seat.
    More Details Hide Details The Democratic nominee was her House colleague, 1st District Congressman Tom Andrews. Snowe defeated Andrews 60–36%, carrying every county in the state.
  • 1991
    Age 44
    Tragedy struck Snowe yet again in 1991 when her stepson Peter McKernan died from a heart ailment at the age of 20.
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  • 1989
    Age 42
    With her 1989 marriage to McKernan, she became the first person to simultaneously be a member of Congress and First Lady of a state.
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    While Snowe was First Lady of Maine from 1989 to 1995, she served as a U.S. Representative and was elected and sworn in as a United States Senator.
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    Snowe married John R. McKernan, Jr., then Governor of Maine, in February 1989.
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  • 1983
    Age 36
    Snowe and Jock McKernan had served together in the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1986, when McKernan represented the 1st District.
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  • 1978
    Age 31
    Snowe was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, and represented Maine's 2nd Congressional District from 1979 to 1995.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1974
    Age 27
    She was re-elected to the House in 1974, and, in 1976, won election to the Maine Senate, representing Androscoggin County.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, she was a delegate to both the state and national Republican conventions.
  • 1973
    Age 26
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1969
    Age 22
    Shortly after graduation, Bouchles married her fiancé, Republican state legislator Peter T. Snowe on December 29, 1969 in New York City.
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  • 1947
    Age 0
    Born on February 21, 1947.
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