Snowe gives first post-retirement announcement interview to MSNBC, cites ‘political paralysis’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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In her first TV appearance since the news broke that she would not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate this November, Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe sounded off about her distaste for the “political paralysis” that she sees in Washington, D.C.

Snowe spoke with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on her show “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” and explained that the decision not to run again had been reached over the past recess.

“I decided during the recess, you know, having a milestone birthday gets you to focus and be clarifying about whether or not I was prepared to commit to another six years in the United States Senate,” Snowe said. “And particularly in the context of the times that we are in in the Senate where it’s very, very difficult to resolve major issues that are so important to the future of this country. And how best could I serve, and to make my voice heard. I made the decision not to run for re-election to the Senate and to pursue other opportunities outside the Senate that perhaps I can give voice to the frustrations that you know that exist with the political system here in Washington, where it’s dysfunctional, and the political paralysis has over taken the environment to the detriment of the good of this country.”

Snowe called on her colleagues to reevaluate the role of the U.S. Senate and understand how it has lost its ability to solve problems. (SEE ALSO: Are Ron Paul supporters responsible for ‘Snowe removal’ in Maine?)

“Everybody has to stand back and understand what is the essence of public service,” she said. “It’s all about solving problems. What are our obligations you know to the country and to the people we represent? It’s the coming up with effective solutions, to sitting down and working with these issues — sitting around the table, sorting through the differences. You can never you know solve a problem without talking to people who totally disagree. You know, the United States Senate is predicated and based on the essence of consensus building. That was certainly the vision of the founding fathers and if we abandon that approach, then we do it at the expense of the country and the issues that we need to address to put us back on track.”

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